Quinn to sign illegal immigrant driver's licenses bill Sunday

Politics and GovernmentIllegal ImmigrantsIllinois GovernorImmigrationJobs and WorkplacePat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to sign a measure into law Sunday that will grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.

The move comes as little surprise given the Democratic governor’s outspoken support of the measure, which was passed by lawmakers this month during the waning days of the legislative session.

The bill signing ceremony is scheduled to take place Sunday afternoon at the Instituto del Progreso Latino, a Chicago-based organization that helps train immigrants to enter the workforce.

“On Sunday, the governor will sign this historic legislation to improve traffic safety in Illinois and lead the nation in welcoming every family, regardless of their background,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson.

Supporters say the measure will make Illinois roads safer because it will provide a way for immigrant drivers to get licenses, making it easier to obtain insurance and pass driving tests. The cards will look different than traditional licenses, and could not be used as a form of identification.

Critics fear fraud and abuse, with some lawmakers saying they wanted immigrants to be fingerprinted in order to qualify. Immigrant rights organizations said that would deter participation.
Quinn's anticipated signature of the bill was hailed by Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat who has long championed driver safety measures.

“This initiative gives more than 250,000 newly eligible motorists the opportunity to go to work and take their children to school while driving on safer roads and highways,” Cullerton said in a statement. “This bipartisan success demonstrates that we can work together for the good of the people of Illinois.”

mcgarcia@tribune.com
Twitter @moniquegarcia

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