Tag: driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

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Driving Without a License, Immigrant Workers at Risk

Though they are not licensed to drive, many undocumented immigrants get behind the wheel in order to get to work.

Immigration News

Wisconsin, California Would Join Utah in Giving Driving Cards to Undocumented Immigrants

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Photo: Welmoe/Flickr

Photo: Welmoe/Flickr

Wisconsin would become the second state in the union to issue undocumented immigrants special cards allowing them to drive but not grant them other rights, according to a provision in the state budget that still has to be approved by the full legislature and Gov. Jim Doyle.

A similar bill sponsored by State Sen. Gilbert Cedillo (D.-Los Angeles) was approved in the California Senate Monday. It now heads to the Assembly and possibly the governor’s desk. Cedillo’s initiative, however, has been defeated several times in previous years.

So far, Utah is the only state that issues special cards allowing immigrants to drive, but stops short of granting them other rights — creating a two-tiered system where about 40,000 drivers have the cards, The Associated Press reported.

Three other states –Washington, Illinois and New Mexico– allow the undocumented to receive regular driver’s licenses, The A.P. said. Maryland stopped issuing them this week.

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Immigration News

New Jersey Controversy Over In-State Tuition, Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

Governor Corzine disagreed with some recommendations from the panel he created. (Photo: NJ Dept. of the Public Advocate)

Governor Corzine disagreed with a recommendation by the panel he created in 2007. (Photo: NJ Dept. of the Public Advocate)

New Jersey has become the latest state to try to fill the gap created by the lack of federal immigration reform. Last week an advisory body created by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine recommended that the state issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and that state colleges allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates.

The Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy issued a 123-page report with a list of measures New Jersey could take to implement “a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate” some 400,000 undocumented immigrants into the state population. [Visit the panel’s site for the full report or an executive summary in pdf.]

The reaction – much of it critical – has mostly concentrated on the recommendations about in-state tuition and driver’s licenses.

“Allowing illegal aliens to obtain ‘no questions asked’ state driving privileges would undermine New Jersey’s strict licensing laws,” The Gloucester County Times said in an editorial Sunday.

“…it’s a shame that (the panel) muddied the line between legal and illegal immigrants — and went too far, in our opinion, in a few of its recommendations,” The Press of Atlantic City said. “That tends to polarize the debate even further than it already is.”

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