This Chicago DUI attorney has posted here , here, and here about the inability of undocumented immigrants to drive legally (you can’t get a driver’s license in Illinois if you are undocumented). Now, it looks like Springfield has come to its senses and soon, although it will still be a while, undocumented people will be able to obtain valid driver’s licenses in Illinois.
It was kind of a homecoming for Illinois’ Senate president when he visited a Pilsen church Sunday to accept a thank you from its Latino congregation for pushing legislation to provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Sen. John Cullerton’s family has been involved in Illinois politics since Edward F. Cullerton was a powerful alderman from 1871 to 1920.
The senator has received bi-partisan support for a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to get temporary licenses similar to those issued to foreign visitors who are here legally. By some estimates, 250,000 motorists in Illinois are here illegally.
Cullerton said he’s confident the Illinois House will pass the measure next month after a 41-14 vote in the Senate on Dec. 4.
“The state representatives see their senator voted for the bill,” Cullerton said. “It puts pressure on them and makes it easier for them to vote for the bill.”
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is taking a “neutral” position on the bill, according to a spokesman, but Cullerton praised him for helping draft the legislation.
“He said that it’s workable and he can implement it,” Cullerton said, adding, “There were only about 5,000 of these licenses issued last year. Now there could be a quarter of a million people applying for them.”
Some Republican legislators have said they’re strongly opposed to providing licenses to people breaking the law because they’re here without legal documents.
Setting aside the controversy, this is good news because the undocumented drive every day throughout this state. Many pay insurance, maintain valid registration, and even submit to emissions testing on their vehicles doing everything else they could do to comply with the law. The problem is some don’t know our rules of the roads because they’ve never had to study and take our driver’s license examination. What happens when an undocumented/unlicensed, and yet insured, immigrant is at fault for an accident? Do you think that insurance company is going to promptly pay out on that claim?
Even the staunchest opponents of this new law probably don’t want that unintended consequence to fall on licensed drivers throughout the state.