This Chicago DUI attorney still wonders when Illinois, and the majority of the other states, are going to permit driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. In Illinois, you don’t have to be a citizen to get a driver’s license but you do have to have documented immigrant status, e.g. permanent resident status or even student visa, etc.
Prior to the creation of Homeland Security many states did permit immigrants to get valid driver’s license. It made a huge difference in their lives, but it makes a large difference in our lives as well. The bottom line is valid license or not they are going to be driving on our roads, it makes far greater sense to let them be compliant with our laws by providing them the opportunity to obtain valid driver’s licenses.
From the Olympian.com:
Carlos Hernandez packed up his family and left Arizona after the state passed its sweeping immigration crackdown. The illegal immigrant's new home in Burien offered something Arizona did not: a driver's license.
Three states – Washington, New Mexico and Utah – allow illegal immigrants to get licenses because their laws do not require proof of citizenship or legal residency. An Associated Press analysis found that those states have seen a surge in immigrants seeking IDs in recent months, a trend experts attribute to crackdowns on illegal immigration in Arizona and elsewhere.
“It’s difficult being undocumented and not having an identification,” said Hernandez, of Puebla, Mexico. “You can use the Mexican ID, but people look down on it.” An American driver’s license is also a requirement for many jobs.
Washington granted 3,200 licenses to people from outside the U.S. through June, exceeding the pace of 5,992 for all of 2009.
• New Mexico issued 10,257 licenses to immigrants in the first six months of 2010, compared with 13,481 for all of 2009. The pace has intensified since April, when neighboring Arizona passed its immigration law. The figures include both illegal and legal immigrants.
• Utah handed out 41,000 illegal immigrant licenses for 2010 through June 7, compared with 43,429 for all of 2008.Did you know that auto insurance will not cover a driver without a valid driver’s license, even if the driver has paid the insurance premium? Do you want to be involved in an accident where the person’s insurance refuses to cover the damages, even if they admit fault, because while they paid each month’s premium they couldn’t get a valid driver’s license.