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- 12-13-2012, 11:27 PM #1
Trouble for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in Illinois
Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Bill Kelly's Truth Squad by William Kelly
The Washington Times
CHICAGO, December 13, 2012 ― A new bill to permit 250,000 illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses could be in big trouble in Illinois. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), the group that is behind the bill, is fending off blows from Illinois law enforcement over the bill’s lack of security safeguards.
Opponents say the bill was stripped of key safety and security provisions once it gained political support and outrage has set in. In Springfield, state police chiefs are opposing the bill, SB957, demanding that safeguards be put back in.
Greg Sullivan, Executive Director of the Illinois Sheriffs Association, also says that representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) initially approached the association and asked for its support.
"In the original drafts we were shown, the bill required applicants to submit fingerprints and tax identification numbers,” says Sullivan. “But these provisions were dropped from the current bill.”
Sullivan says that fingerprints and tax identification numbers are important from a law enforcement perspective.
“It comes down to: how do we prove identity? We don’t want to have a system that issues state driver’s licenses to felons and criminals. Fingerprints help us prevent that,” says Sullivan. “From a public perspective, the undocumented should be paying for the privilege of driving, using our roads, maintaining our signs, and supporting the traffic court system with their taxes too.”
Sullivan says that because of the bill’s lack of safeguards, there are only a few Illinois sheriffs who have come out in support of SB 957.
The association represents 102 Illinois sheriffs from across the state.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, who ran as a Democrat in 2006 and a Republican in 2010, has testified in favor of the bill. Just a few years ago, he was a staunch opponent of illegal immigration but has had a ‘conversion’ on the issue.
“I’m worried about the people that have been here for long periods of time. These people that our country lured into America in many instances, telling them that they could find jobs, jobs that we couldn’t fill — migrant worker jobs; low-wage jobs in restaurants; jobs in landscape,” said Curran in a PBS Frontline documentary released in 2011.
This week, Curran announced he is seriously considering a bid for Illinois attorney general and has formed an exploratory committee.
Reports of an investigation into Chinatown’s lucrative driver’s license black market haven’t helped the bill’s prospects either.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that it is investigating a Chinatown driver’s license black market and as many as 8,000 fraudulent licenses. An employee of Jesse White’s Secretary of State’s office was convicted last year of participating in the scheme. Four other Secretary of State employees have also been charged with taking bribes in return for passing grades. The federal probe is ongoing.
To deflect criticism of the bill, the Highway Safety Coalition (HSC), which is run by ICIRR, says the bill will prevent fraud, dry up black market, and promote highway safety.
“Today’s Chicago Sun Times carries a story that highlights the document fraud and dangers to Illinois drivers that result from the current lack of an avenue of a legal system through which undocumented immigrants can obtain legal driving documents,” said the HSC in a statement on its website.
But Illinois’ sordid history of trading licenses for bribes is well-known. Former Gov. George Ryan is currently serving prison time for his role in the scandal.
Opponents also criticize deficiencies in SB957’s insurance provision.
SB957 doesn’t actually require proof of insurance upfront in order to obtain the state-issued license. Under the program, if a driver is caught without insurance during a routine traffic staff, the driver is guilty of a “petty offense.”
Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar has defended the bill, saying that the GOP party platform on illegal immigration doesn’t matter. “This is common sense,” says Edgar.
New Mexico’s experience with a similar law also reveals that there is no guarantee drivers will obtain insurance.
The fast-tracked bill, which has bipartisan support of top Illinois political leaders, sailed through the state Senate with a 41-14 vote last Tuesday and is now being considered by the Illinois house.
Top Democrat leaders who support the bill include Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Senate president John Cullerton, the bill’s sponsor. State Republican leaders who support the legislation include Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), House GOP Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), and Illinois comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
Trouble for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in Illinois | Washington Times CommunitiesWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.
- 12-14-2012, 09:33 AM #2SB957 doesn’t actually require proof of insurance upfront in order to obtain the state-issued license. Under the program, if a driver is caught without insurance during a routine traffic staff, the driver is guilty of a “petty offense.”
Second, anyone who believes illegals will run out and purchase insurance are delusional. There is nothing that prevents them from buying insurance now.
Third, who believes that when illegals have insurance they will drive more safely, be able to read signs, and stop drunk driving - all problems in IL.
BTW, I lived in Lake County, Sheriff Curran's district. There's a reason I left. Citizens feel unwelcome and feel as though they are required only for taxes, both income and property taxes, that are used to benefit illegals.
IL GOP Leaders Admit Insurance 'Loophole' with Bill for Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants | Kelly Truth Squad
Chicago, Illinois, December 5, 20120 - Illinois Republican leaders joined together Tuesday for a press conference to support a bill (SB957) to permit 250,000 illegal immigrants to receive state-issued driver’s licenses.
Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogo (R-Lemont), House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), Illinois comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, and former Gov. Jim Edgar were in attendance.
The press conference question and answer period with reporters was quickly shut-down after media grilled Illinois lawmakers about the bill’s specific provisions and whether, given Illinois’ history of corruption on driver’s licenses, lawmakers can even be trusted to administer such a program.
The upshot: Illinois lawmakers admitted during the news conference there were “no guarantees” illegal immigrants would buy the required car insurance, which proponents said was the stated basis of the legislation.
When reporters continued to probe the legislation’s insurance gap, Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights side-stepped the issue.
“We’ve been working in good faith to try to put together this legislation, if there are other issues that need to be raised, we are certainly open to it and are working in good faith with all the respective parties for legislation that can work.”
More double talk.
According to the Highway Safety Coalition – the pro-amnesty front group that spearheaded SB 957 - uninsured illegal immigrants are the cause of 80,000 crashes a year in Illinois.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is in a bitter fight to repeal a similar law that permits driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, citing security and fraud concerns. Data from the Insurance Research Council shows that in 2000, just before the law took effect, 26.3% of drivers in New Mexico were uninsured. In 2010, after seven years, New Mexico still had 25.7% of drivers uninsured.
So are Illinois lawmakers misleading the public on this legislation?
Illinois already has a sordid history when it comes to issuing driver's licenses.
Former Gov. George Ryan is currently serving prison time for racketing, tax evasion, and conspiracy for his role in a driver’s license for bribes kickback scheme in the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. 80 other Illinois officials were ultimately indicted for their participation in a scheme that allowed state employees to ‘rig’ driver’s licenses exams, enabling unqualified applicants – including illegal immigrants – to pass the test.
In 1994, Ricardo Guzman, an illegally licensed truck driver, caused the deaths of the six Willis children in a horrific car crash near the Wisconsin border and a federal investigation ensued.
SB957 passed the Illinois state senate by a vote of 41-14 Tuesday afternoon and is on its way to the house for consideration."A Nation of sheep will beget a government of Wolves" -Edward R. Murrow
- 12-14-2012, 11:03 AM #3
Too many of our citizens lives have been lost due to illegal drunken drivers. Deport them, don't reward them!