Illegal Immigrants, Legal Drivers?

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

They can't vote, or register for social security and normal health insurance, but soon illegal immigrants could be allowed to drive legally in Illinois.
The Illinois House passed a bill by a slim margin Wednesday that would give legal driving "certificates" to illegal immigrants.
The certificates could only be used to let people drive legally and buy insurance. Illegal immigrants would have to present a valid photo I.D. from their home country and go through fingerprinting to obtain a certificate.
Illinois representative Chuck Jefferson says it's a good way to start regulating our illegal population, and would make dealing with accidents involving illegal aliens much easier.
"We know that we've got a problem as far as people being in the country illegally, what are we going to do with the problem? Until we fix it we've got to find other alternatives to deal with situations. This is an alternative to deal with the situation we otherwise might not be able to monitor," says Representative Jefferson, (D-Rockford).
Some Rockford residents agree with Jefferson's line of thinking.
"People are already here and they're driving without any kind of documentation so this bill is going to make it more so that they are responsible to get a driver's license and insurace, I think it's a good bill for not just them but for us that are here legally," says Mario Garcia.
But others say it's wrong to give any type of legal certification to people who are not legal citizens.
"I don't think it would be fair for them to get a driver's certificate or insurance because its one of the luxuries or liberties we have as United States citizens," says Rockford Resident Stephanie Strupp.
The bill is now headed for debate on the Illinois senate floor.
Tennessee lawmakers tried out a similar program in 2004. They suspended it after a year and a half because people were coming from out of state to get certificates fraudulently.


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