A proposal to allow immigrants who came to the U-S illegally to get drivers licenses advanced in the Illinois Senate today (Thursday). As Brian Mackey reports, both Democrats and Republicans supported the measure.
Backers of the measure estimate there are 250,000 immigrants driving without licenses in Illinois. The proposal to allow them to get drivers licenses enjoys broad support from immigrant-rights groups, insurance companies, and police.
Mark Curran Jr. is the sheriff of Lake County, and a Republican. He says it’s a moral question.
CURRAN: “These people are not going to be deported. They’re here. And they need to get to work and to provide for their families. Not only does the economy need them, but their families need them.”
Immigrants would be able to get licenses by presenting a federal tax number or an ID supplied by their home country’s U.S. diplomatic office — instead of a Social Security number or birth certificate. The IDs would not be valid for things like buying firearms, boarding airplanes or voting. That limitation was crucial to winning the support of Republicans.
The measure passed out of committee on a vote of 12-2 and now goes before the full Senate.
— Brian Mackey