Illinois is one of a small number of states in the US that is to offer driving privileges to people who are illegally in the country, according to a new article in the Chicago Tribune. December last year saw the Illegal Immigrant License Bill finally pass through the Senate after failing to do so five years earlier in 2007 by just two votes. On January 8th this year the office of Governor Pat Quinn released a statement saying that he intends to sign the bill into law.
Undocumented immigrant Juan Vicente Urbina has lived in Illinois for 12 years now since 2001 and says that every time he takes his seven-year-old daughter to her school he risks getting pulled over and deported. The new legislation will see people such as Urbina who have not yet been given US citizenship be able to get hold of Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s Licenses, which are renewable every three years. The ID will not, however, allow him to vote, buy a gun or board a plane.
“Whatever your position on immigrant issues, what we can all agree on is there are millions and millions of undocumented people in this country living with us, working with us, driving for us,” says state representative Edward Acevedo, who sponsored the measure. “We have failed because some of these individuals cannot be trained to drive the roads of Illinois.”
Supporters of the move have in the past pointed out that 250,000 undocumented immigrants are driving cars every day without having proven they are capable of doing so.