JANUARY 09, 2013
In what appears to be a national trend fueled by the powerful open borders movement, this week Illinois became the third state in the U.S. to pass legislation that will allow illegal immigrants to obtain official driver’s licenses.
The measure had strong bipartisan support in both the Illinois House and Senate, easily passed and will likely get signed by the governor, who has expressed support for the law. It is expected to give about a quarter of a million illegal aliens the chance to apply for a valid state driver’s license simply by providing a photo identification from their native country and some sort of proof that they’ve lived in Illinois for a year.
Here is language straight from the bill that just passed in the Land of Lincoln: “Allows the Secretary of State to issue temporary visitor’s driver’s licenses to applicants who have resided in this State for more than a year, are ineligible to obtain a social security number, and who are unable to present documentation issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services authorizing the person’s presence in this country.” It also allows a consular identification document—like a fraud-prone one issued by Mexico—to be used for the acquisition of the license.
Washington State and New Mexico have also enacted similar laws so that illegal immigrants could get driving privileges. Each time this sort of bill gets introduced, it’s promoted as a way to improve public safety because driving tests and proof of insurance are required of candidates. Another popular argument is that it allows the government to create an official database of who’s on the roads.
It will cost Illinois taxpayers $800,000 for the first year of the illegal alien driver’s license program, according to a regional news report that cites state officials. The state will cover the cost mostly by delaying filling employee vacancies, said a spokesman from the secretary of state’s office. After the initial year, the program will cost around $250,000 annually, according to the official.
While a few Republican lawmakers in Illinois expressed concerns about the new license bill, including the potential for fraud and abuse, the party’s leader in the state House offered strong support in the local newspaper. That’s because Illinois should be a place welcoming to immigrants, said House Republican leader Tom Cross. “We should work with them, not fight with them,” he said.
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