On Tuesday a new piece of legislation was approved in the Illinois House of Representatives that will help illegal immigrants get to drive with a legal temporary driver's license.
Such immigrants sometimes drive while in America even though they don't have a driver's license, and they do it out of necessity for work purposes. And that can prove costly to those citizens who do live here and have to pay the uninsured motorist insurance for coverage in accidents involving bad illegal drivers and others.
But the state of Illinois has a solution to that problem according to Reuters: offer them the incentive of getting a legal license to drive on American roads, and then they will have to study and take a test proving they know the road rules expected of them before they can get it.
That's a great idea. This legislation encourages that accountability because they have to learn America's road rules in order to pass the test, making it safer for other drivers. And that should be the key focus when drivers' licenses are awarded.
And this legislation would also create a driver's license revenue stream for the state if enacted, which they are not currently receiving. And it would enable those who have entered the country illegally (but for safety, work, or other legitimate opportunities) to get around to where they need to go in an honest manner. What could be wrong with that? It's a win-win.
It is desperately needed, as there is only three other states currently offering such hope and common sense legislation at present: Washington State, New Mexico (which both offer permanent drivers' licenses to immigrants who are here illegally, which might not be the right move), and Utah, which offers driving permits. And that is just far too few states trying to find a solution to this problem.
The House vote was not in the majority (65 to 46), proving that many still do not agree with this type of legislation, possibly because it provides a form of ID that would help usher in voting by illegals in the country in the next presidential election.
And that opens up a whole other can of worms that really needs to be addressed some other way, since American citizens do have the right to expect those not in the country legally be restrained from impacting their national presidential election, of course.
The Illinois House legislation states emphatically that the illegals would be given the same "temporary visitor's driver's license" as those in the country legally, so the licenses would be visually different from current legal drivers' licenses, with a purple background instead. And the license for them would contain the words "not valid for identification" written on it.
Regarding the identification issue, the Department of Driver Services offices in each state is unequipped with manpower, resources or law enforcement capabilities to do thorough background searches on illegal immigrants.
And that background search needs to be done by trained immigration personnel anyway, who can weed out the criminal element attempting to gain entry versus those legitimately trying to reconnect with family or seek better opportunities or safety. So the use of a temporary or permanent driver's license to immigrants here illegally needs to always be regulated and always state "not valid for identification" purposes.
(Driver's License testing photo credit: Georgia Department of Driver Services)