DC mayor wants to allow access to driver's licenses for illegal

DC mayor wants to allow access to driver's licenses for illegal immigrants

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WASHINGTON -

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray wants people living in the country illegally to be able to get driver's licenses in the nation's capital.

The mayor's office says Gray and other city leaders will introduce a bill on Thursday. It would allow district residents to get a license or a city identification card regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

As with all legislation in the district, it would only become law after a period of review by Congress.

Four states allow people who don't have legal permission to live in the United States to obtain driver's licenses: Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico and Washington state. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber plans to sign a bill Wednesday that would make his state the fifth. Colorado is also considering it.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) made the following statement concerning the proposal by District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray to require undocumented immigrants who drive and reside in D.C. to get a driver’s license:

“The Mayor’s proposal for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants is one of the most important changes for public safety and for elimination of black market illegal licensing of drivers. Our neighbors in Maryland have already approved such licenses for their undocumented residents, who otherwise would be driving without licenses not only in Maryland but almost certainly in the District of Columbia as well. A dozen states are considering this sensible reform, perhaps stimulated by the immigration reform underway in the Congress. Because all licensed drivers in the District have to be insured, licensing undocumented immigrants will not only protect them but also residents here and wherever our residents may drive.

“A car is nothing less than a necessity for many residents – to go to work, school or to obtain the necessities of life. As documented by evidence, denying a license does nothing to keep someone who must drive from doing so. I hope the District will soon join the states that already require licenses for all drivers.”

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