Stateline Reaction to New Law Giving Driver's Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Illinois House of Representatives passes a law granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Governor Pat Quinn says he said looks forward to signing the legislation.

For the thousands of illegal immigrants who didn't have a driver's license before, this new law will mean the routine drive to work or school will no longer be a nerve-wracking ordeal.

"For anyone who is undocumented in the US, there's always anxiety. Just thinking about how much the average person drives in a day, especially in our city, its alto. I think the anxiety level for the people who have the license will go down," says local immigration attorney Bethany Hoffmann.

The new badges for illegal immigrants could look very similar to the state’s current visitor driver's license. These new licenses won't be issued on the spot at Secretary of State Facilities. Applications will have to first establish their identity and prove they've lived in the state for over a year, have no way to get a social security number, and don't have the proper documentation to be in the US. Their information will go into a database, which has some afraid about deportation while others say, they don't mind.

“The people are going to be more peaceful because they'll have a permit and that will allow them to be better people," says Jose Luis del Aguila, who plans to apply for the new license.

Just like any other driver, illegal immigrants will have to learn the rules of the road and pass a driving test, plus buy car insurance before they can get this new license. Even with these licenses, holders are required to carry an additional form of identification and they are only good for three years. The Secretary of State's Office has 10 months to implement all the new rules surrounding the new badges.

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