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Senate Approves Immigrant Driver's License Legislation
As many as 250,000 illegal immigrants could get driver's licenses in Illinois under a proposal at the capitol. The bill would allow the state to issue temporary driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, and it now has bipartisan support.
The Senate approved the legislation this afternoon, after Republican leaders announced their support for the idea today. A number of people watched the debate in the Senate gallery and gave the Senate a round of applause after the 41-14 vote to approve the proposal.
Under the legislation, illegal immigrants would have the opportunity to get a driver's license if they pass a driving test, written exam, and vision screening, and can prove they've lived in Illinois for at least a year.
"People die because of this," Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) said. "People have accidents that are uninsured. Millions and millions of dollars in claims. This legislation will move public safety forward."
"What part of illegal do these senators not understand?" Sandy Dragoo of the Springfield Tea Party said. "We feel the border should be secured. It seems like they're taking care of a problem at an end, instead of taking care of it in the beginning."
Brady said the temporary license could not be used as identification. It wouldn't allow someone to vote or enter a government building.
The Senate has until the second week of January to act on the measure. If the Senate passes it, it will move to the House for discussion. Secretary of State Jesse White isn't taking a position on the idea.