Trying to Make Illinois Roads Safer

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

Since a program was put into place to issue undocumented residents in Illinois temporary drivers licenses, this program has issued 85,000 licenses for those undocumented who qualify. This program makes a lot of sense. It means that if an undocumented person drives a car, they must have not only such a license but also car owner insurance and also have passed a driver’s exam. These temporary licenses are good for only three years, cannot be used as a form of identification for boarding an airplane and cannot be used to purchase a firearm. It’s sole purpose is for the person who owns it to drive on the road and be accountable for their vehicle.

Many critics contend that it awards “illegals” with a “privilege.” Driving may be a privilege, but not issuing a driver’s license to those undocumented who own a vehicle and drive will not deter them from driving. It has been shown time and again that undocumented individuals will drive a vehicle since they have no other choice for working, traveling from home to another necessary destination, and when they cannot get around by public transportation. Any and all accidents that undocumented may be involved in on the road means that those permanent legal residents or U.S. citizens involved in an accident with an undocumented person cannot get insurance coverage protection from the undocumented person and must therefore seek extra coverage and protection from their own insurance company (something insurance companies might not want to do).

The whole point of issuing temporary driver’s licenses to undocumented is quite simply to protect all motorists on the road. The whole argument of enforcing immigration laws is up to the federal authorities, and the whole thing of trying to extend the immigration argument to the road is fruitless. It this program helps to ensure even one motorist on the road from an unnecessary accident and help undocumented drive safely to their destinations, then it is worth it.

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