Illinois Governor Quinn Signs Bill Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Legally Drive

I wrote here and here
the past few weeks about new legislation in Illinois that would allow
undocumented immigrants to apply for a valid driver’s license. The  Chicago
Tribune
 reported earlier this week that Governor Quinn signed the bill
into law over the weekend.  

Supporters
say the measure will make Illinois roads safer because it will provide a way
for immigrant drivers to get licenses, making it easier to obtain insurance
 and pass driving tests. The cards will look
different from traditional licenses and cannot be used as a form of
identification. Critics fear fraud and abuse, with some lawmakers saying they
wanted illegal immigrants to be fingerprinted to qualify. Immigrant rights
organizations said that would deter participation.

I have been a huge
proponent of this law from the day I heard that it was a possibility that the
legislature was going to move forward with this. It is now the law in Illinois
and I believe that there will be fewer car accidents, safer roads and the traffic
courts will be less congested. 

If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then
call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at
312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Illinois House Passes Drivers License Bill For Undocumented Immigrants

Illinois is the
governor’s signature away from new legislation that will allow undocumented
immigrants to obtain a temporary driver’s license. NBC Chicago reported
on Tuesday that the bill passed 65-46. Immigrant Drivers would get three-year
licenses, called Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses, and would be required to
take a driver’s education class and carry car insurance. Lawmakers believe
there are as many as 250,000 undocumented immigrants on Illinois roads and that
more than 40 percent of deadly Illinois crashes involve drivers who don’t have
a license.

Governor Quinn applauded
the House’s action, saying the bill will save lives as well as “help ensure
every Illinois motorist is properly licensed and empower more immigrants to
become stronger contributors to our economy. 
Illinois roads will be safer if we ensure every driver learns the rules
of the road and is trained to drive safely,” Quinn said.


I wrote about this story a few weeks back when the bill was being discussed in
committee, which you can read here.  This bill is a win win for everyone.
First, it is undisputed that there are thousands of undocumented immigrants in
Illinois that are law abiding and are working hard for their families. They
have been left hamstrung by police and in courts because they have not been
allowed to apply for a driver’s license without a social security number. These
are pointless and expensive tickets that clog up the traffic and criminal
courts. I know this first hand because I have represented dozens of these
immigrants and most of the time they are merely trying to drive to and from
work or pick up their kids from school. Second, this measure will protect Illinois
drivers and make the roads safer. Immigrants will now be able to purchase auto
insurance, and in case there is an auto accident, there will be protection for the
injured. Third, the undocumented drivers will still have to take and pass the
written and driving test, which will hopefully mean that there will be
thousands of more skilled drivers that will know the rules of the road.

Should you or someone you love
become injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call
Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron J. Bryant for a free consultation at
312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.
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IL Takes Step Closer To Issuing Drivers Licences To Illegal Immigrants: Why I Support This Measure

The Chicago
Tribune 
report yesterday that a new measure that would allow up to
250,000 illegal immigrants to receive a drivers license passed through the Senate
Executive Committee and the entire Senate could vote on the new law by next
week. 
Under
the program, undocumented immigrants would be eligible for the special,
three-year licenses to drive a vehicle. It would be a different in color from a
regular driving license. It also cannot be used for identification purposes,
such as for boarding a plane, buying a gun or voting.

Senate
President John Cullerton supported the bill stating that the law would make
Illinois roads safer. Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran testified in favor
of the bill, saying immigrants are driving to 
schools, stores and church even
when they are undocumented and don’t have
licenses. “Ultimately,” Curran said, “law enforcement would
much rather go after the bad guys and not just people that are trying to get to
work and school.”

 “At
a time of diminishing police forces, I believe that it’s imperative that we use
our resources wisely,” Curran said. “Licensing and insuring all
immigrant drivers will ease the burden on jails and courts, which are currently
drained by holding people solely for driving without a license or
insurance.”

This
new bill could receive some criticism from Illinois residents and nationally. I
think these critics are wrong. There are two major reasons I support this
legislation. First, it will make the roads safer for everyone.  Allowing
illegal immigrants to obtain a license will force them to learn the Illinois
rules of the road. They must pass the written exam just like everyone else.
Although I have not read the proposed bill, there is a chance that they will have to take a driver’s test as well to prove they are capable of driving
on the road. Further, without a valid license, drivers cannot obtain car
insurance. More insured drivers will protect injury victims who may be involved
in car accidents with immigrant drivers. What if one of your family members is involved
in a car crash with an illegal immigrant? Who is going to pay for their medical
bills, pain and suffering and lost wages? More insured drivers protects
everyone. 

Second, I have
represented dozens of illegal immigrants in traffic and criminal court for
driving without a license. These are hard working men and women trying their
best to support their families. These are not bad people or criminals and
needlessly punishing them only makes their effort to support their families
that much more difficult. These immigrants are also driving their kids to
school. Why should they have to drive in fear every time they try to drop their
children off? As was mentioned above, police officers and state troopers would much
rather focus their attention on violent and dangerous criminals.

If you or someone you
love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then
call Chicago personal injury attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at
312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.
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