Illinois to Approve Illegal Alien Driver’s Licenses

Even as the Illinois legislature fails to find a solution to its looming fiscal crisis in its pension system, it found time to take a step toward giving illegal immigrants the right to have a driver’s license legally. Last week, the Illinois Senate approved a measure that would give almost all of the estimated 500,000 (estimated provided by Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies in table 36) illegal aliens living in the State of Illinois the right to carry a driver’s license. The measure now moves to the Illinois House where it also enjoys support and eventually to Governor Pat Quinn, who is also in favor of this measure.

Not surprisingly, Illinois Democrats championed this measure. The top Democrat, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, sponsored the measure.

What was surprising was that the measure found equal fervor in Republican circles. The Republican Minority Leader, Christine Radogno, is also behind the measure. A call was left unreturned with Radogno’s office from Front Page Magazine, but Radogno gave this supportive statement to the Chicago Tribune.

“We should pull the trigger,” Radogno said to the Tribune.

The measure was favored especially in the Chicago Land area. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued this statement.

“I strongly support state legislation that will allow every Chicagoan, regardless of legal status, to enjoy the rights and responsibilities that come with a driver’s license,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I commend Senate President John Cullerton for his leadership to introduce legislation during the 2012 veto session to require all Illinois drivers, including undocumented drivers, to get trained, licensed and insured. I will be a strong advocate for this bill as we work to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the country.”

In fact, on November 20, 2012, a press conference was held on Chicago’s South Side. At this press conference, the Chicago-area’s political elites, along with some of the nation’s most radical leftist immigration organizations, got together in support of the measure.

The organizer of this press conference was the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). The ICIRR has been behind a string of radical immigrant reforms that have gone as far as freeing criminal illegal aliens.

In September 2011, the ICIRR spearheaded an effort for Cook County to cease cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), on ICE detainers. ICE detainers are holds made by ICE on municipal prisoners it wants held because they’ve also possibly violated immigration laws.

Because of that law, Saul Chavez, an illegal alien accused of killing a pedestrian crossing the street because he was heavily intoxicated while driving a car, was allowed to be released rather than handed over to ICE. Chavez has since gone on the run and is presumed to be in Mexico.

Along with the ICIRR, there were representatives of the Highway Safety Coalition. This bill was being championed as a measure to improve road safety.

In an interview for this article, the press aide for John Cullerton, Ron Holmes, said this bill was meant to improve road safety.

“There’s a quarter of a million [Cullerton’s estimate of the number of illegal aliens in Illinois] drivers on the road that are undocumented. We don’t know if they’re up to standards in road safety.”

The Cook County Board President (the County that includes Chicago) Toni Preckwinkle was also in attendance at this conference. Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn were also in attendance.

Front Page Magazine spoke to one outspoken opponent, Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson. Sangamon is a County in the South Central portion of the State of Illinois. It includes the State’s Capitol, Springfield, and it’s about a three and a half hour drive from Chicago. While the area that surrounds Chicago supports this measure, most of the rest of the state does not.

Williamson was asked to rebut the opposition’s most widely used arguments. First, Williamson was asked to respond to the idea that by giving these folks driver’s licenses police could focus on more significant crimes.

“What could be more serious than getting being in the country illegally?” asked Williamson rhetorically in response.

Williamson was also asked to respond to the idea that by giving these folks driver’s licenses that this would be a step in fostering better relationships between the police and the community. That way the community would be more apt to help in other criminal investigations.

“By allowing somebody to be here illegally, you’re going to get them to snitch more,” Williamson mused mockingly.

To be fair, Front Page Magazine also asked the other side to respond. In response to the idea that their side is ignoring illegal immigration in favor of highway safety, Holmes again reiterated the bill was not about illegal immigration but strictly about highway safety.

Illinois is also facing a pension crisis that the Illinois Policy Institute estimates leaves the state with about $200 billion in unfunded liabilities. Critics have argued that this measure is being taken up even as pension reform is being ignored.

Holmes pointed out that President Cullerton passed a bill out of the Senate, SB 1447, that would solve the looming pension crisis in the state. The Senate is now waiting on the House to act and hopes to see some action early next year. As such, the Senate was not using up resources that could be used to move along pension reform, Holmes argued.

Nationally, anti-illegal immigration groups are finding it difficult to stop these affronts because they are fighting multiple fronts. Front Page Magazine spoke with William Gheen, President of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC). Gheen said that ALIPAC has volunteers on the ground in Illinois making calls and knocking on doors but that his organization can’t pull their full resources into the matter.

That’s because, Gheen said, there are three states currently working on legislation that would give illegal immigrants benefits, including Illinois. The other two, said Gheen, are Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In Rhode Island, Gheen said that he fears that Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee, in collusion with a number of radical leftist pro-illegal immigration groups, may give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens by Governor’s decree.

In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick has introduced a proposal to provide in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Gheen said his organization is forced to put resources into each state making the task of fighting each one that much more difficult because their resources are diluted.

Already, New Mexico and the State of Washington have passed legislation giving illegal aliens the right to get a driver’s license.

Even as the issue of immigration reform is likely to come up on the national level, it’s clear, based on this article, that immigration watchers should pay attention to reforms on the state level as well.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • BS77

    Tell me it isn't so…our nation is being ruined by liberal morons.

    • Mary Sue

      ill Annoy certainly is.

    • kathy

      And they will act quickly to implement their radical, socialist, USA-destroying agenda…hang onto your hats and everything else too.

  • cynthia curran

    What's new pussycat, we need to fine companies that hire tham more often and deport them if their false ID's come up. Several illegal immirgants have ruin the credit of minor children by using their ss number. I will agree to change the rules on immirgant guesworker pgorms but farmes will neeed to apply not get illegal immirgnats that are made legal. Bi George W Bush how good and hard working they are when the steal people's ID;s.

  • Fay

    I suspect that this is an end run around Voter ID. Show up to vote with your illegal ID and vote for Democrats.

    • Cassandra

      You are so right. What the hell is going on in this country. Illegal are now suddenly legalized. This is crazy.

    • Mary Sue

      OF COURSE it is!

    • JoJoJams

      Actually, Illinois has the "motor voter" thing – that's where, when you get your drivers license, you can also register to vote all at the same time. Since there is NO accountability as to "legal status" you can be sure that many of these illegals WILL be registering to vote. I guarantee this is why the big push for giving Illinois' illegals the "right" to get a drivers license. Not for safety – for the illegal vote. I live here. I guarantee that's why this corrupt state is doing this.

      • LindaF

        One way to fight back on that is to make the driver's license for the illegals a different color. If you have, or show, the wrong color license while trying to register or to vote, your license is yanked, and you are arrested.

        Lots of luck getting that past the Illinois legislators, though.

  • kathy

    That's the first thing I thought of…they can register to vote when they get their driver's licenses. It is definitely a redirect in that direction. The Left is incredibly obvious.

    • BS77

      You are witness to the decline and possible fall of our nation…..the Nanny State socialist PC agenda is coming full flower…and with it, bankruptcy, anarchy, corruption and decay.

  • BLJ

    Sadly I live in the cesspool of Cook County and this is par for the course. The idiots that live here keep voting the Madigan gang back in. Mike Madigan is the real godfather of the crooked Chicago machine.

    • Mary Sue

      do the voters in that county not understand that politicians are like diapers: they need to be changed often and for the same reasons?

  • Thomas Wells

    Chicago is Obama's kinda town.

  • Ghostwriter

    I doubt legal immigrants in Illinois are going to be too happy about this. I certainly am not.

  • Dave Francis

    Former President George Bush doesn’t reside in the real world, or do most of the hierarchy of elected politicians who govern us. George Bush is stating that we should approach immigration “With a benevolent Spirit”. But he lives in his own Shangri La and is not menaced by illegal alien drunk drivers, criminals, drug peddlers and a reciprocating cost of supporting these people? A large majority of presidents, elected legislators, and judges are isolated from the illegal alien invasion as they live in gated communities and are never have to look for a job. Many of the illegal alien hordes don’t come here to begin a new business or new ideas… they come here with their hand open saying “Gimme” or demanding the same rights as citizens? Building contractors, who once earned a good living, must contend with companies who use cheap labor and outbid the honest businesses. This is especially so where immigration regulations are broken every day, because these building entities must compete against each other, using an illegal workforce and making huge profits for owner? It is the same with unions who are also benefiting from a wide array of unauthorized labor and being illegal ask no questions about the subscription dues.

    It’s not the new law associated with the “Dreamers Act” but the chain migration that will follow its progress. Chain Migration points to the young people originally illegally coming to America with their parents, and then sponsoring their relatives. The issue with that is that the sponsor must sign an affidavit that they will financially support the family members that come into the country. So if it’s anything like the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) finding passage, those who gained a path to citizenship in the millions and then sponsored Mom and Pop and others, dropped their promise and financial cost laid on the taxpayers once again in supporting their elderly family members. The 1986 the law was sterilized from the beginning anyway and millions more free welfare treat hunters gained entrance and the whole thing was a Carnival of errors. The politicians involved in this charade never funded properly a secure fence, or interior enforcement as special interest groups had already declared the ultimatum, which was in fact do next to nothing? Underfunded, the back door remained open and the unconcerned employers got cheap labor and to hell with the working American stiff. Since then we have had a poorly guarded border and the brave undermanned U.S. border Patrol men and women, threatened by drug cartels had to deal with the mess. I knew from the very inception of immigration law, that there was no intention to hold back the hordes of illegal foreigners, when the crime of entry didn’t add up to a class one felony. NOT ONLY ARE BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES IN SOME WAY OR OTHER PANDERING TO THE ILLEGAL ALIENS, BUT NOW THEY WANT TO RE-ACCESS OUR CITIZENS PRIVILEGES, BY STATES LIKE ILLINOIS GIVING OUT DRIVERS LICENSES? What George Bush talks about is LEGAL immigrants, not illegal alien paupers that benefit from our welfare state?

    You will not get any true news support from the press or airwaves, as it full of propaganda about the true meaning illegal immigration. Americans have been buttered up for years by the lying establishment and have shown no real intentions of enacting mandatory E-Verify, known as the “Legal Workforce Bill” to at least stop the massive influx of illegal aliens looking for work. Another deciding factor that makes literal sense is passing The “Birthright Citizenship Bill”. A quick amendment that would stop pregnant women from conceiving a child to procure automatic citizenship, that once again is unfair to the U.S. taxpayer. Only the babies of a U.S. citizen would have the merit to gain citizenship and not the three or four babies, which alien mothers require us to support. These are bills that are sitting gathering dust and neither Political party has the gut to pass. Not that there is any chance of being read on the House floor or in Sen. Harry Reid’s Senate, as he doesn’t allow them to gain Cloture? If these mostly bunch of old decrepit lawmakers as Reid, cannot pass a reasonable budget in four years, what chance do two rational bills have of passing to discourage the influx of impoverished illegal migrants or immigrants, whether from across the borders or flying into this country masquerading as visitors?

    We, the American people who suffer this costly indignity, not the Politian’s, not the employers, but the taxpayer. It’s inevitable that honest people are going to get skewered by those in power at the time and nothing will ever change while the same incumbents and robots of big business, unions and radical ethnic groups hold the reins of government. Nearly all 50 states are financially suffering because most legislators have ignored the major problems, except for a few that have placed their feet firmly on the ground. As little as 5 states are openly against the Democratic progressives who strongly believe that a path to citizenship for all illegal aliens will materialize as votes in coming years in their form of Socialist behavior. That it’s been seen in Socialist run nations that the more government gives, the more is expected and eventually turns into riots and civil disobedience and obscene deficits. Today I learned that President Obama has borrowed money, then all the previous presidents combined?

  • broken arrow

    In order to get a drivers license one must provide a valid ID ,a valid proof of address ,,,,how they gonna do that ?

    • Mary Sue

      fake id!

      • Thomas Wells

        $9.95 in the Loop area.

  • star

    So now many illegal undocumented immigrants ( MOSTLY MEXICAN NATIONALS) that don't even live in the state of Illinois will flood the state solely for the purpose of obtaining a driver's license fraud activity will definitely increase i can't believe this and they are even trying to make it where they want have to be finger printed when applying for a drivers license BIG MISTAKE


    Bad decision stop rewarding the law breakers mostly From Mexico re enforce your immigration laws and secure the borders if you continue to reward the undocumented more will continue breaking the law by entering the country illegally and guess what ? they will also demand rights and free benefits STOP PROMOTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. A drivers license is not a right it's a privilege for law abiding citizens and law abiding legal immigrants and not law breakers i guess the state of Illinois did not review the impact of whats been happening in New Mexico ever since the state have been issuing drivers license to illegals fraud has tremendously increased many illegals have flooded into New Mexico from other states to get a drivers license using fake names and addresses the illegals in Illioniis will not be required to be finger printed because they fear it will discourage the illigals from aplying VERY UNFAIR as a citizen i am required to be finger printed shame on you Illinois for rewarding law breakers