Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

State allows licenses for illegal immigrants

Posted by   + Show Post

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) - As Illinois becomes the fourth and most populous state to give illegal immigrants permission to drive, nagging concerns remain about whether there are enough safeguards to avoid the identity fraud and other pitfalls other states faced.

 Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois' measure into law Sunday in Chicago. Backers, including Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some of the state's top Republicans, tout it as a public-safety measure. They argue that required facial recognition technology is reliable enough to prevent fraud.

 They hailed it as an important step for immigrant rights in Illinois, which approved its own Dream Act in 2010 to create a privately-funded scholarship program for immigrant students. President Barack Obama plans to discuss his plan to overhaul the immigration system during a trip to Las Vegas on Tuesday.

 This was a bipartisan effort to pass an important law," Quinn said. "When the president speaks on Tuesday, he can say about his home state of Illinois ... we not only passed the Dream Act last year, we passed driver's licenses for those who are undocumented ."

 However, the law's opponents have pointed to hundreds of fraudulent cases in New Mexico, Washington and Utah after those states began giving illegal immigrants permission to drive. Illinois will not require applicants to be fingerprinted, for fear that would discourage immigrants from applying.

 "How many people would apply for this document knowing that fingerprints will be going to (federal authorities)? Probably not all that many," said Fred Tsao, policy director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a driving-force behind the measure.

 Proponents say it will allow an estimated 250,000 people unlawfully residing in the state to apply for a three-year temporary driver's license and require them to get training and insurance. The Illinois secretary of state's office said the licenses will be available starting in October.

 Those ready for the change include 45-year-old Victoria Chavez.

 "I need to get my driver's license because I have two kids," the Chicago woman said. "They need my support. This is a victory for all of us in the immigrant community."

 The licenses will be like those already issued to certain foreign-born, legal visitors. Applicants will be photographed, and their photo will be entered into the state's facial recognition database - like the rest of Illinois' licensed drivers- to verify their identity.

 But other states' driving programs for illegal immigrants have been abused. New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses, while Utah issues a permit.

 An Associated Press investigation last year found a striking pattern in New Mexico, suggesting immigrants tried to game the system to obtain a license. In one instance, 48 foreign-born individuals claimed to live at a smoke shop in Albuquerque to fulfill a residency condition.

 Authorities also busted a fraud ring last year that forged documents for illegal immigrants to use after driving from as far as Illinois and North Carolina to obtain a New Mexico license. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has vowed for years to repeal the decade-old measure, but the Legislature has rejected such efforts.

 Washington's requirements attracted national attention when Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, revealed his illegal immigration status in an essay for the New York Times Magazine in 2011. Vargas chronicled how he obtained his Washington license. State authorities conducted an investigation that revealed Vargas did not reside at the address he stated in his application and canceled his license.

 Utah's permit is not valid for identification. Illinois' law follows suit.

 Utah's Republican-controlled Legislature amended the state's law in 2011 to require illegal immigrants to be fingerprinted, and mandates that the state notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if an applicant's fingerprint check yields a felony on record. If the applicant has a misdemeanor warrant outstanding, the state must notify the agency that is seeking the person's arrest.

 That kind of information-sharing between state and immigration authorities worries Illinois' immigrant-rights advocates, such as Tsao, who pushed for the legislation without a fingerprinting requirement. They say fingerprinting could deter potential licensees from applying for fear of being identified and deported.

 Local law enforcement officials argue in favor of fingerprinting.

 "We could see if they have committed a crime; it could be a crime in another state or it could be a crime in their home country," said John Kennedy, executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

 The Illinois secretary of state's office says its facial recognition database is highly sophisticated and accurate. The program uses an algorithm to match more than a dozen facial features that are not easy to alter, such as eye sockets and sides of the mouth.

 "The integrity of our driver's license system is a priority," said Henry Haupt, a spokesman for the office.

 The bill's sponsor, Rep. Edward Acevedo, a Chicago Democrat, said state roads will be safer because illegal immigrants will receive training and be tested before obtaining a license. They also will be required to purchase insurance, Acevedo said.

 Tsao's organization estimates uninsured illegal immigrant drivers cause $64 million in damage claims each year, an expense currently covered by increased premiums.

 

___

 

Garcia Cano reported from Springfield, Ill.

 

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:19 AM
Replies (101-105):
lga1965
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

 

Quoting clp0930:

It bugs me because my husband is here legally and he had to wait two months for his driver's license. I think its very unfair when illegal immigrants have more rights than those who came here legally.

 Why did he have to wait 2 months for his driver's license? Usually they give you a slip of paper that says you passed the test and that your license will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. I don't know what you mean?Where do you live?

clp0930
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:46 PM



Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting clp0930:

It bugs me because my husband is here legally and he had to wait two months for his driver's license. I think its very unfair when illegal immigrants have more rights than those who came here legally.

 Why did he have to wait 2 months for his driver's license? Usually they give you a slip of paper that says you passed the test and that your license will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. I don't know what you mean?Where do you live?

We got the piece of paper but unfortunately since its a smaller state a lot of times people don't realize its valid identifcation. We live in Missouri. It also bugged me that it took waaay longer than they said it would for the license to arrive, He had been licensed in Missouri previously so it shouldn't have been that hard for them to identify him. the dl # was the same and everything.


lga1965
by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting clp0930:

 

 

Quoting lga1965:

 

Quoting clp0930:

It bugs me because my husband is here legally and he had to wait two months for his driver's license. I think its very unfair when illegal immigrants have more rights than those who came here legally.

 Why did he have to wait 2 months for his driver's license? Usually they give you a slip of paper that says you passed the test and that your license will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. I don't know what you mean?Where do you live?

We got the piece of paper but unfortunately since its a smaller state a lot of times people don't realize its valid identifcation. We live in Missouri. It also bugged me that it took waaay longer than they said it would for the license to arrive, He had been licensed in Missouri previously so it shouldn't have been that hard for them to identify him. the dl # was the same and everything.

 

 That is annoying! They are not very efficient are they.

SweetChild63
by Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Texas as been doing this since last year. It's not called a driver's license, but that's what it is - and that rule was passed after the state passed a law saying you had to be a legal citizen. Them republicans got tired of having to cut their own grass and doing their own dishes, I guess.

MeAndTommyLee
by Platinum Member on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Again, the illegals are thinking they won something and it can't be further from the truth.  Chicago alone has a huge illegal immigrant problem.  They make up for the majority of crime.  If they are dumb enough to go to the DMV for a license, then local  government knows where they are and if they scam the DMV (which is difficult), they know your license plate number and WILL find you. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN