Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Illinois Driver License Bill Expected In 2013 For Non-citizens

Bipartisan proposed bill allowing more than 250,000 of non-citizens to become eligible for Illinois driver licenses expected to be introduced by November 27.

By H. Nelson Gooson
November 20, 2012

Chicago, Illinois - On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Illinois state legislators announced that a proposal (bill) to allow non-citizens to become eligible for driver licenses is expected to be introduced when the legislature convenes on November 27. The driver license bill will grant more than 250,000 of non-citizens in the state of Illinois eligibility to apply for licenses. Both state House Speaker, Michael Madigan (D) and state Senate President John Cullerton (D) support a measure to allow non-citizens to apply for license. Also, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) and Chicago Mayor Rahn Emanuel (D), including former Republican Governor Jim Edgan and State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka (D) support the measure to grant licenses to non-citizens.
The current surge of Hispanic voters in Illinois gave a majority to Democrats in state government. Some Republicans in the legislature have also joined Democrats in a bipartisan push to pass a measure allowing non-citizens to get licenses.
The Illinois Highway Safety Coalition reported that an estimated 80,000 accidents per year are caused by unlicensed and uninsured drivers. The total accident costs have reached about $650 million in damages, including $64 million in damages caused by non-citizens driving without licenses, according to the Saftey Coalition.
Illinois once it approves a license bill for illegal immigrants in the state would join both the state of Washington and New Mexico in granting licenses for non-citizens.
On January 1, 2013, California will grant driver licenses to immigrants with a federal work permit.

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