Illegal immigrant driver’s license getting bipartisan support

2012-12-04T19:19:00Z 2012-12-05T09:07:47Z Illegal immigrant driver’s license getting bipartisan supportBy Kurt Erickson | kurt.erickson@lee.net pantagraph.com

SPRINGFIELD — As many as a quarter of a million illegal immigrants in Illinois could qualify for special driver’s licenses under a politically charged proposal advancing in the General Assembly.

The legislation, approved Tuesday on a 41-14 vote in the Senate, would create a three-year license for qualified illegal immigrants that could not be used for other purposes such as boarding an airplane or casting a ballot.

Supporters said the measure will improve the safety of Illinois roads by requiring the unlicensed immigrants to undergo training and get vehicle insurance.

“We believe this is a good public safety issue,” said Lawrence Benito, who heads the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

The measure, which now heads to the House for further action, comes after an election in which Republicans faced a lack of support from Latino voters.

It gained support from 10 members of the Senate GOP caucus, including state Sens. Bill Brady of Bloomington and Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, both of whom are mulling bids for governor in 2014.

Brady said the licenses would make Illinois roads safer. “People die because of this,” Brady said.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, said the issue is not a new one in Illinois.

“We’ve got to tackle the problem. I think it’s the right time to take this step,” she said.

State Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, voted “yes,” but acknowledged the issue of immigration is controversial.

“This is certainly a tough issue and I can see both sides. However, the safety of all drivers was the overriding factor in why I voted for it,” Jacobs said.

Among those voting “no” was Republican state Sens. Shane Cultra of Onarga. State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, did not vote on the measure.

State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, cast the lone “present” vote.

The legislation is Senate Bill 957.

Copyright 2015 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(29) Comments

  1. O WOW
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    O WOW - December 10, 2012 10:12 am
    Hispanic they work as hard as some of us ,, sure they need D.L to drive make it lot easy to I.D
    them. que pasa .
  2. patriot6
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    patriot6 - December 07, 2012 12:59 am
    So now all of a sudden they will do what is legal and right? Ummmmm ok interesting. So I guess if we let criminals who get guns illegally, to purchase them legally then that should reduce gun violence? Ok I see the logic now (sarcasim)
  3. get_involved
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    get_involved - December 07, 2012 12:34 am
    I expect this from Democrats but not Republicans. I will never vote for any Republican again who votes for this. I just will vote for a third party or skip that particular office. Republicans are going to lose their base by doing this.
  4. annieoakley
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    annieoakley - December 06, 2012 9:54 am
    What a crock! Safer roads? hahahahahaha How LUDICROUS! They aren't going to get insurance! They can't afford insurance! Next year, insurance rates are going to sky rocket to pay for the rising healthcare costs due to obamacare! Insurance rates have already gone up! New taxes added to it by the state and the feds! It use to be a requirement that when you tagged your vehicle you had to show proof of insurance! NOT ANYMORE! This whole thing is a joke!
  5. ct
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    ct - December 06, 2012 2:48 am
    If the federal govt does nothing, then the states and locals have to deal with the reality. The state can't ship anybody out, and has to look over the welfare of its citizens, who are at risk from undocmented people driving without insurance.
  6. ct
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    ct - December 06, 2012 2:47 am
    Yes the importing of H1Bs that undercut qualified locals, as well as offshore tax evasion are the clear problems.

    That is not to say that there are not some micro issues with illegals depressing wages in some work groups.
  7. thoughts a million
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    thoughts a million - December 05, 2012 4:56 pm
    Your vote won't count. The Hispanic vote will.
  8. Polaris
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    Polaris - December 05, 2012 12:05 pm
    Democrats and Republicans agree that legal immigration is a great thing for this country. Republicans and conservatives (note, they are not necessarily the same people) are adamantly opposed to giving anything to people in this country illegally. Yet, we have had two decades of bending over backward to give these illegals access to public services, education, higher education, and so much more. There is no serious attempt to rid our nation of the people that crossed the border illegally and their children. The children of illegals ought not be viewed as citizens, regardless of where they were born.

    Being opposed to illegal aliens does not make one racist or bigoted. For myself, I really love people that chose to come to this country and make it their home regardless of where they have come, as long as they have done it the correct and legal way. I have no tolerance for illegals and politicians that coddle them and ignore the laws of this nation. No other nation in the world would tolerate ten percent of its population comprised by illegal aliens. Why should we?
  9. MRK
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    MRK - December 05, 2012 8:19 am
    "State Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, cast the lone “present” vote."

    Well, good to know he was there...physically.
  10. NowhereNearNormal
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    NowhereNearNormal - December 05, 2012 8:13 am
    I've got several questions. Are the people we are calling "illegal aliens" or "undocumented workers" guilty of a crime or not? If they are guilty of a crime, is it a felony or a misdemeanor? When we elect people to office and they are sworn in, is part or that ceremony "turning off your brain"? Has the government ever reneged on a promise? I'm sure those poor "undocumented aliens" or "illegal workers" are going to trust a company they know nothing about other than what they have seen on TV, a government that they have eluded for who knows how many years, and march right down to the drivers license office and sign up! Are we really this ignorant or are we just plain stupid?
  11. matzmom
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    matzmom - December 05, 2012 7:06 am
    What are our lawmakers thinking? What about the word illegal is so hard to understand? It sickens me to think we are to teach our children right from wrong when our lawmakers blatantly disregard the law. If they are illegal ship them out and let them come in like everyone else does, legally.
  12. outoftowner
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    outoftowner - December 05, 2012 6:51 am
    It's naive to believe that this is going to work out well. You must remember that these people, because of their illegal status are very distrustful and reluctant to be involved with the government. Yet these legislators believe that they will expose themself to the light of government just to get a license? Think about that. These people are living in the shaddows but legislators believe they will come into the light, give an address, attend government training on how to drive and then purchase insurance. It's just ludicrous to believe this will be effective in reducing highway accidents.

    What about that insurance? I understand that they would have to show proof of insurance prior to getting a license, but who will monitor if they maintain that insurance after that point?

    What would stop them from letting their insurance lapse once they get the license

    This thing is wrong on so many levels and as most government interventions is likely to end up costing more than it is worth.
  13. tcubbies23
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    tcubbies23 - December 05, 2012 6:47 am
    My great-great-great grandmother was from Hungary, so one. I'm a blue-eye blonde, aka, a European American. It would be nice if our state was like Missouri, but I don't see our state government having the guts to introduce and pass those same laws. I wasn't aware about the Statue of Liberty quote, so thanks for sharing. Again, I just don't want to get hit by a driver that can't read our road signs, oh, and has insurance.
  14. BC
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    BC - December 05, 2012 6:04 am
    There has always been undocumented workers here, the amount hasn't changed. They still pay billions into the economy and do the jobs Americans won't do. You are being fed a line to divert your attention from the real threat to American workers, the professional and technical jobs foreigners are being imported to do. Our college grads are flipping burgers while their counterpart is being imported, given papers and hired. Doctors come here because there is no limit to American medical profits. Tech workers are given housing and hired for less pay because they are happy to live 2 or 3 families in a small apartment. We have no shortage of American workers in these trained fields, they want enough money to live like Americans instead of bunking up in tight quarters with their aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The lettuce pickers aren't your problem. They workers imported by big corporations, trained by American employees and then replace that employee on the job. They are all legal because they have papers. The displaced Americans sit on unemployment and collect entitlements. That should be your worry not those who do the jobs Americans refuse to do. If it can't be outsourced to India just bring India here. The Americans are too stupid to notice because they are being goaded to go out and hassle every Mexican they see mowing a lawn or picking berries.
  15. ct
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    ct - December 05, 2012 5:47 am
    <<" It would be really stupid for the Republicans to grant amnesty to illegal aliens ">>

    Yes that Ronald Reagan was a very stupid man now wasn't he....


    and the better figures to compare are hispanics to other minority groups like blacks:
    Overall Poverty Rate:
    9.8% non-Hispanic whites (19.2 million) lived in poverty
    25.3% Hispanics (13.2 million) lived in poverty
    27.6% blacks (10.9 million) lived in poverty
  16. ct
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    ct - December 05, 2012 5:37 am
    Immigration was actually very similar.

    The locals exploited immigrants for cheap labor and often unsavory conditions. Latinos are just the next wave....
  17. ct
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    ct - December 05, 2012 5:36 am
    Just like all the "in god we trust" garbage was added later, or "under god" to the pledge....
  18. ct
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    ct - December 05, 2012 5:35 am
    The same way that most undocumented immigrants pay taxes. They register for an ITIN number to file taxes.


    This is a REAL problem. If you get hit by a driver who can't buy insurance, you won't be so easy to dismiss things.
  19. ct
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    ct - December 05, 2012 5:32 am
    The government won't enforce those laws, the same way they don't enforce gun laws.

    Way too much money being made by priviate entities that make big political donations. Cheap labor makes a lot of people a lot of money, just ask all the Chinese working the American jobs that were offshored to them.
  20. voa
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    voa - December 05, 2012 5:20 am
    The fifth and sixth paragraphs of this article clearly show us a lack of spine among our elected officials. Take note. "There here and driving anyway" doesn't make it right. Folks break laws every minute of the day, but that doesn't mean you change the law! You penalize law breakers, you know, kinda like the folks of "the greatest generation" would have done. Shoot straight folks.
  21. get_involved
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    get_involved - December 05, 2012 1:26 am
    Attrition Through Enforcement Is the True Middle-ground Solution
    -
    The open borders crowd constantly tell the American people that there are only two solutions to our nation's illegal alien crisis – give illegal aliens amnesty or round them up and deport them. This is a diversionary tactic to draw public attention away from the most effective and efficient solution – Attrition Through Enforcement.
    -
    The principle behind Attrition Through Enforcement is that living illegally in the United States will become more difficult and less satisfying over time when the government – at ALL LEVELS – enforces all of the laws already on the books. It is also imperative that the government with the full cooperation of the private sector, implements certain workplace enforcement measures. The goal is to make it extremely difficult for unauthorized persons to live and work in the United States. There is no need for taxpayers to watch the government spend billions of their dollars to round up and deport illegal aliens; they will buy their own bus or plane tickets back home if they can no longer earn a living here.
  22. Report Abuse
    - December 05, 2012 12:33 am
    You can add my name to the list.
  23. 9 miles of bad road
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    9 miles of bad road - December 04, 2012 10:26 pm
    You nativist are going to have to get over it. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and there's no way you or anybody else is going to round them up and deport them. What we do right now is important. These folks drive and are going to continue to drive. Having auto insurance is important and you have to have a license to do that. Having legal drivers on the road is crucial for everybody's safety. All this posturing about not voting for Senator Brady is actually funny. Maybe you didn't notice, he was the only one on the ballot. I'll be holding my breath to see the tea party opponent in 2017 bring this up (after its been law for 4 years).
  24. dopey1
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    dopey1 - December 04, 2012 9:55 pm
    Anyone who thinks these people are going to let the government know where they live and run out and spend money they don't have to for the license and insurance is just stupid. Why would they do any of this? If they are living here illegally and driving here illegally and get caught what are our law makers going to do to them anyway?
    If the word illegal doesn't really mean the act is illegal, then we should all start growing our own dope too. I know, let's grow some illegal pot using these illegal immigrants, who can now drive to our houses, to do the gardening.
    This is another fine example of our lawmakers wasting precious time and energy on crap legislation instead of tackling the real issues and getting our state out of the hole. Enough is enough. Recall all of the idiots. Replace them with donkeys. We'll get some good out of what comes out of them that way.
  25. get_involved
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    get_involved - December 04, 2012 9:29 pm
    I agree!
  26. get_involved
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    get_involved - December 04, 2012 9:28 pm
    tcubbies23:

    That quote on the Statue of Liberty was never there when the French gave it to us. It was added well into the 20th Century. Added not by a vote of the people but by a pro-immgration poet who somehow successfully lobbied to get it snuck in.

    Besides, there is quite a difference between immigration over 100 years ago and now. 100 years ago there was still vast unsettled territory and absolutely no welfare state. People came here to work. Even then we kept a close eye on immigration and even passed the fair and level-headed national origins immigration act in 1925. We need that act re-instated.

    The inscription on the Statue of Liberty is—poetry on a work of art—not a law or government policy of the USA.

    How many in your familyare or were illegal aliens?
  27. get_involved
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    get_involved - December 04, 2012 9:26 pm
    The Republicans are fools if they think passing a amnesty will get them the Hispanic vote. Hispanics support big government and that's because so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate is 53 percent, about twice that of whites.

    Voter surveys show that Hispanics have overwhelmingly favored Democratic presidential candidates for decades. It would be really stupid for the Republicans to grant amnesty to illegal aliens because it would just create more Democratic voters!
  28. tcubbies23
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    tcubbies23 - December 04, 2012 8:04 pm
    As long as they get good training and don't hit me, I really don't care. They are already here, so we might as well educate them. They would have to know English to pass. Don't forget what the Statue of Liberty stands for. We can't pick and choose the aliens that come here for a better life!
  29. Captain
    Report Abuse
    Captain - December 04, 2012 7:44 pm
    Well, Senator Brady, you just lost my vote for any political office you might seek in the future!!!!
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