Should illegal immigrants be allowed to legally drive?
Local political leaders in Illinois want to bring forth a program that would offer driver licenses to illegal immigrants. Supporters are still working on the specific legislation, but they say the law would make the roads safer. They also claim insurance rates would decrease simply by providing an estimated 250,000 unlicensed immigrant drivers a way to legally drive. Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers oppose the legislation because they believe that in the broader sense it would reward people who are breaking the law by living in the country unlawfully.
Two-time Illinois Republican Governor Jim Edgar called the proposal “morally fair, economically sound and politically smart.” He believes Republicans need to do a better job of reaching out for the Latino votes now or they will risk eternal alienation of their vote. The Chicago Tribune reports: “the broad outline of the proposal calls for expanding an existing program that provides temporary driver’s licenses for immigrants who are in Illinois legally. Under that program, foreign students and family members of temporary workers and long-term visitors can qualify for licenses that are valid for three years with the proper immigration paperwork.” Applicants would have to pass vision, written and road tests. They would also have to obtain insurance.
Washington and New Mexico already have passed similar legislation. State Rep. Randy Ramey, R-Carol Stream, opposes the legislation. He states: “Why are we offering a ride to people who have broken the law? All we’re going to do is attract more illegals. From all I can gather, this is to try to get these folks to be a revenue source—give them (driving) certificates, pay for that. Buy insurance, pay for that.” The Illinois Highway Safety Coalition reports that “unlicensed and uninsured drivers are involved in nearly 80,000 accidents each year, resulting in $660 million in damages.”
I admit I’ve been on the fence on the topic of illegal immigration all year-long. I agree that we must provide some type of “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, but on the other hand I don’t think it’s fair to the people who legally entered the country. People who waited in line and did everything they had to the legal way. I did however, suspect Governor Mitt Romney to be doomed for the general election when he stated in a Republican primary debate that he advocated for“self-deportation” legislation. The Republican Party seemingly ignored an increasingly growing voting demographic and ultimately paid the price in the general election. It’s clear to me what we have to do to tackle the issue of illegal immigration.
- Our borders have to become safely, secure. We can’t realistically deal with our problem if we continue to attract influxes of illegal immigrants.
- Legislation that ultimately provides “amnesty” for illegal immigrants must be instituted by our legislators. In order to obtain citizenship they would have to pay fines, taxes, etc. I also think military participation would be a good option in return for “amnesty.” We have to be realistic. There is no way you will be able to deport every illegal immigrant in this country. Mind you many illegal immigrants haven’t emigrated only from Mexico.
As for providing driver licenses to illegal immigrants, I support it. These people will drive regardless of obtaining legal certificates and training. So then why shouldn’t we at least make sure they are capable of properly and safely driving on our roadways? I also don’t buy the argument that our insurance rates will go down. When do insurance premiums every go down? As I argued in a couple of post-election blogs (President Obama is reelected and the GOP must confront changing demographic), if the GOP does not realize its positions on these issues detract Latino voters then the party will fail.
No Republican candidate will ever be able to win a general election with less than 30% of the Latino vote.
Not going to happen.
It is one thing to stand for your principles; it’s another thing to be stubborn.
Remember that Republicans.
What do you think?
Should illegal immigrants be given the opportunity to obtain driver’s licenses?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate