Illegal immigrants could be getting driver licenses in Ill. - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illegal immigrants could be getting driver licenses in Ill.

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An Illinois legislator and the Mayor of Chicago want to give illegal immigrants a special driver's license.

Senate President John Cullerton and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel teamed up on Tuesday to announce their proposal to create a measure to put illegal immigrants behind the wheel legally.

Currently there is an estimated 250,000 illegal immigrants driving on roads in Illinois.

And if they're given a driver's license they would have to get insurance, and pass the vision, written and road tests.

"Well it's going to stimulate the economy by bringing in new business," said Marcy Simon owner and agent at MJ Simon Insurance in Carterville. "And by bringing in more people that have to come in and purchase this insurance it's going to be better for insurance companies by us insuring more drivers."

But, there are mixed feeling among drivers about this proposal.

"I think they should be able to have a driver's license, if they're going to get insurance," said Sasha Del Castillo of Carbondale. "To protect us and to protect them too."

"I don't agree because they really haven't earned the right to drive here," said William Jett of Carterville. "They don't pay taxes, or they work under the table. And they haven't earned social security or anything. And they're illegal."

No legislation has been written as of yet on this proposal. And it will not be something undocumented immigrants will be able to participate in.

At this time much of the talk is focusing in on expanding a current program ran under the Illinois Secretary of State's office. That program allows for foreign visitors who are here legally to get a temporary driver's license.

Former Governor Jim Edgar is lending his support for legislation to allow illegal immigrants who have proof or residency or a passport, to be able to get a driver's license.

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