Next week, a bipartisan group of Illinois politicians will propose a law that would give driver’s licenses to undocumented drivers. If the law passes, Illinois would become the largest and most populated state with such legislation.
California recently passed a measure to give Deferred Action recipients driver’s licenses, but New Mexico and Washington state are the only two states that currently allow all undocumented drivers to get driver’s licenses. According to census data, the population of New Mexico and Washington state is of 2 million and 6.8 million, respectively.
Illinois’ population is larger than both of those states combined. Their population is 12.8 million. Latinos account for more than 2 million of the total population.
According to an attorney from Nehora Law Firm “Illinois Immigrant drivers without driver’s licenses and without insurance are said to be involved in 80,000 accidents per year”.
According to supporters of the measure, Illinois has 250,000 undocumented motorists. By allowing undocumented motorists to get driver’s licenses, the state will ensure the safety of the roads because these drivers would have to pass road and written driving tests and vision tests.
Many politicians are likely to support the measure because they are seeking to gain or maintain the support of Hispanic voters. The people of Illinois elected a veto-proof Democratic supermajority in the Nov. 6 elections.
The Illionis legislature will make a decision by Jan. 9. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the bill into law if it passes the House.