Thursday, January 17, 2013

AZMEX I3 8-1-13

AZMEX I3 8 JAN 2013

Note: And why would, should they bother?

Undocumented Driver's License Bill Passes Illinois House
Posted: 01/08/2013 4:18 pm EST

FOLLOW: Immigration, Illinois General Assembly, Pat Quinn, Illinois
Driver's License, Illinois Immigrants, Undocumented Immigrants
Driver's Licenses, Chicago News
WASHINGTON -- The Illinois House voted 65-46 on Tuesday in favor of a
bill to give driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, after
advocates argued that the legislation could make the roads safer and
prevent people from driving without insurance.

The bill will now go to the desk of Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who
plans to sign it. The state Senate already approved the measure, also
with bipartisan support.

"I want to commend members of the Illinois House for their bipartisan
passage of legislation that will help ensure every Illinois motorist
is properly licensed and empower more immigrants to become stronger
contributors to our economy," Quinn said in a statement after the
vote. "Not only will Senate Bill 957 save lives, it will save
Illinois motorists $46 million a year in insurance premiums by making
sure every driver is properly insured."

When Quinn signs the bill, Illinois will become one of a few states
to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driving permits. Those
licenses will not be the same as driver's licenses for citizens and
legal residents, and cannot be used as a form of identification in
certain situations, like boarding planes or buying weapons.

Many states have begun to issue driver's licenses to young
undocumented immigrants who are granted deferred action from the
federal government. But the Illinois bill is much broader. It would
impact an estimated 25,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois who
currently aren't allowed to drive legally. To obtain the three-year
temporary licenses, immigrants will need to pass tests and obtain
auto insurance, plus show they live in the state by providing a lease
or utility bills.

During debate preceding the vote, opponents of the bill argued it
should include fingerprinting to deter fraud. Others said the bill
could be violating the Constitution by granting a form of "amnesty"
to undocumented immigrants.

"What gives us the right to do this?" asked Rep. Dwight Kay, a
Republican, asked on the assembly floor before the vote. "Why are we
engaging in activities that the U.S. government should be taking upon
themselves? ... We are, I think, breaking the rules. We're not
following the U.S. Constitution."

But others within his party were swayed by arguments about public
safety, which proponents said would be improved by ensuring more
drivers have insurance and have passed driving tests. Rep. Dan Brady,
a Republican, said he was reluctantly voting for the bill for that

"We have to begin in this state to take into our own hands
immigration issues to make things safer in this state of Illinois
that are law-abiding citizens," Brady said on the floor. "It's a sad
state of affairs, but the reality is my priority."

Rep. Lou Lang, a Democrat, made a similar argument about the need for
people to drive with licenses and insurance. "This bill is about road
safety, pure and simple," he said.

"Deportation and the issue of immigration is not our function," he
added later. "It's the function of the United States government. The
folks that don't have driver's licenses are driving and they
work. ... If you want to succumb to fear, you want to succumb to the
anger of people in your districts that undocumented immigrants should
not be in this country, then call your congressman."

Advocates for the bill said they hope it will be a spark immigration
reform nationwide.

"Passing the highway safety legislation is proof that both parties
can put the politics of fear and scapegoating aside and work on
practical solutions that keep our roads and families safe," Lawrence
Benito, CEO of Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
"Illinois is an example of what can happen nationally."

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