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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    TX - Bill would allow driving permits for illegals

    Posted: March 15, 2015 - 7:23pm


    AUSTIN — The illegal immigration debate has ratcheted up in the Texas Legislature thanks to an influential House Republican who filed a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to get one-year driving permits.

    State Rep. Byron Cook, chairman of the powerful House State Affairs Committee and a top lieutenant of Speaker Joe Straus, filed House Bill 4063 just before Friday’s bill filing deadline for this year’s session.

    Though Cook, R-Corsicana, didn’t return a call for comment, his bill was expected because he successfully pushed for a similar proposal in the 2013 session.

    The Legislature seriously considered the legislation that Dallas Democratic state Rep. Roberto Alonzo filed that year, but the clock ran out in the 140-day session.

    HB 4063 is likely to get serious consideration in the Republican-
    dominated Legislature but could put the lower chamber on a collision course with the more conservative Texas Senate.

    Alonzo, who has been authoring similar bills for more than a decade, acknowledged that Cook’s proposal stands a better chance of passing because Cook is an influential Republican.

    But it doesn’t matter who authors the driving permit legislation as long as it passes or triggers a healthy debate on the issue, Alonzo said.

    “Undocumented individuals should have an opportunity to drive safely, and if Chairman Cook is presenting a bill to us and it’s a good bill, I am all for it and (doing) something good for the state of Texas,” Alonzo said.

    As in the bill Alonzo filed this session, Cook’s proposal requires that the applicants would need to prove that they have lived in Texas for at least a year and have no criminal record.

    Cook could not be reached for comment after filing the bill Friday.

    Cook’s bill is also expected to get strong support from powerful groups that usually support Republican officeholders and candidates, as well as conservative legislation.

    One of them is the Texas Association of Business.

    “We want everybody who is driving on the roads of Texas to have a driver’s license, or in this case a driver’s permit, if for no other reason so that they can obtain insurance,” said CEO Bill Hammond.

    This would also increase the possibility that those with driving permits would not flee the scene of an accident if they are involved, Hammond said.

    Still, Republican opposition is expected to be strong, especially in the Senate, where Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the presiding officer of the chamber, has made illegal immigration and border security top legislative priorities.

    In addition, several Republican state senators, including Charles Perry of Lubbock, have filed legislation targeting undocumented immigrants.

    Perry, for example, authored Senate Bill 185, the so-called “sanctuary cities” legislation that, according to Perry’s office, would order cities and other jurisdictions to not inhibit law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration laws.

    Critics of the sanctuary cities bill — who are expected to turn out in large numbers today at a public hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Border Security — characterize Perry’s proposal as racial profiling of Hispanics.

    They oppose it on grounds that it would give law enforcement officers the authority to ask for proof of U.S. citizenship to anyone they stop, even for a minor traffic violation, just like a 2010 Arizona law does.

    In the Texas House, a good number of Republicans — including John Frullo of Lubbock and John Smithee of Amarillo — said they would vote against Cook’s bill.

    “I can’t think of any other example where we would reward someone with a state permit solely because they broke the law,” Smithee said.

    “The only people who would be eligible for this permit would be people who are in this country illegally, and so I don’t think that’s a good precedent to set.”

    “I was against it then and I am against it now,” Frullo said in reference to the similar proposal that received serious consideration in the 2013 session. “I just don’t think it’s something we should do.”

    Frullo and Smithee are familiar with the pros and cons of the bill because they sit on the House State Affairs Committee, the panel that screened Alonzo’s bill in the 2013 session.

    Texas is the latest state to consider a law that would allow some undocumented immigrants to drive and get automobile insurance.

    Ten other states — with California being the latest — and the District of Columbia already issue driving permits or driver’s licenses to residents who entered the country illegally but have not obtained U.S. citizenship or legal residency, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    In 2013, Oregon began issuing driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants, too, but last year state voters overwhelming approved a ballot measure that suspended that law.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The only reason any state would authorize drivers licenses for illegal aliens is because their politicians are on the take with the drug cartels behind this travesty. State legislatures aren't stupid enough to want to grant illegal aliens licenses to drive to work at illegal jobs that steal work from Americans and deflate wages and salaries for other Americans. They're issuing drivers licenses so they can use their vehicles legally to deliver drugs and haul our money out of the country.

    Wake Up, people, and start calling this spade the spade that it is.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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