While many are opposed to the idea, Senate President John Cullerton has passionately maintained that if passed, the bill would make Illinois roads safer if illegal immigrants were held to the same safety standards and testing others on the road were held to, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“It seems to me that we are better off having folks tested, make sure they know how to drive, make sure they take driver’s ed, make sure they have vision (tests) so they can see, make sure they have insurance rather than having so many of them driving illegally because of necessity,” said Cullerton, D-Chicago.
“Unlicensed, uninsured drivers are involved in almost 80,000 accidents in Illinois each year, resulting in $660 million in damage, according to the Illinois Highway Safety Coalition. Unlicensed immigrant drivers cost $64 million in damage claims alone,” Yahoo News reported.
If passed, illegal immigrants will be able to obtain a 3-year driver’s license. The licenses will be a different color than traditional Illinois driver’s licenses. The license could not be used to legally purchase a gun or board a plane.
In order to obtain a license, the applicant would be required to provide proof that social security taxes are being paid and must provide proof that they’ve been an Illinois resident for a year or more.
Washington and New Mexico currently allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.
The bill passed 12 to 2 in the Senate Committee this week and is expected to make its way to the Senate floor by January.
Drivers, what do you think?