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Illinois Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants Bill OK'd By House Committee

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An Illinois House vote is virtually the last obstacle left standing for a proposal that would temporary driver's licences for undocumented immigrants.

On Monday, a House committee approved the bill in the closing days of the current General Assembly despite lingering concerns on both sides of the aisle over potential fraud and security issues the new law would pose. The Associated Press reports the plan was approved 6-3 by a transportation committee, and would requires potential licensees to have their photo taken and filed digitally in a state database.

Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago), the bill's sponsor, says he's close to having enough approving votes but will delay a full House vote until Tuesday.

Rep. Acevedo says the legislation "seeks to improve safety of our roads and make sure our motorists are trained, tested and insured," reports the Sun-Times. Acevedo estimates roughly 250,000 undocumented immigrants currently drive on Illinois' roads.

The state Senate already approved the bill in December, and Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law if it was approved in the General Assembly.

If passed, the bill would make undocumented immigrants who have lived in the state for at least a year eligible for a temporary license lasting three years. The license could not be used to buy guns, board planes, register to vote firearms or serve as a pathway for a license to drive a semi-trailer truck or school bus.

In exchange, license applicants would be subject to vision and rules-of-the-road testing, and would have to supply proof of auto insurance.

Photo by guanacux via Flickr.

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