Issue: 1169 Date: 1/17/2013
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Illinois Poised To Allow Driver's Licenses For Those In U.S. Illegally
The Illinois House has approved legislation allowing those who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses.
House lawmakers approved the bill 65 to 46. The measure now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk, who says he looks forward to signing it. Quinn says the bill will make Illinois roads safer and "empower more immigrants to become stronger contributors to our economy."
Supporters of the bill that sailed through the state Senate have been bipartisan. They call it a matter of public safety that will allow an estimated 250,000 immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally of driving age in Illinois to get driver's licenses.
The licenses would not be used for identification purposes like to board a plane. Anyone who applies will have to take driver's tests, prove Illinois residency, buy insurance and have a picture taken that would go into a state database.
Washington and New Mexico allow illegal immigrants to get licenses.
Rep. Edward Acevedo is congratulated by Rep. Lisa Hernandez on the passage of his bill to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune)