Undocumented immigrants in Illinois will soon be able to obtain temporary driver's licenses, after new legislation was passed on Tuesday.
The bill now heads to Governor Pat Quinn for his approval.
“I want to commend members of the Illinois House for their bipartisan passage of legislation that will help ensure every Illinois motorist is properly licensed and empower more immigrants to become stronger contributors to our economy,” Governor Quinn said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I look forward to signing this legislation.” He added.
In the run up to the vote, Chicago’s Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel rallied support for undocumented immigrants to obtain state driver’s licenses, at a predominantly Latino church last Sunday.
“This is a fight not just about driver’s licenses, but about who we are,” Emanuel told the
congregation at St. Pius Catholic Church on the Southwest Side of the city, reports the Sun Times.
“Let us lead the country again, by giving those immigrants a driver’s license so they can take their kids to school and go to work,” Emanuel said during the church service last Sunday.
“It’s one dream, one vision, to come to this country and build a future for your children.
There are an estimated 250,000 undocumented immigrants on Illinois roads. The new law will permit drivers to get three-year licenses called Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses. They would be required to take driver’s ed classes and buy car insurance.
According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “More than 14% of all accidents are caused by uninsured drivers resulting in a $4.1 billion in insurance losses a year.”