Illinois’ bill (SB 957) to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens is moving quickly through the State’s Democrat controlled legislature. Yesterday, the Senate passed the bill 41-14. It is quickly gaining support of both Democrats and Republicans.

It Won’t Make Roads Safer
Giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens in no way guarantees safer roads or that they will purchase insurance. The safest roads do not have unlawfully present people driving on them. New Mexico, one of only two states to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, has the second-highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States.

By the same token, it defies common sense to say that the best way to combat accidents by illegal aliens is to give them all drivers’ licenses. It’s disingenuous to argue that someone who has openly violated federal immigration laws by being in the country illegally is going to have any more respect for the driving laws.

It Poses National Security Risks
Granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens makes them invisible to enforcement authorities by giving them the one document they most need to secure employment, transact business, and register to vote. This fact is especially disturbing considering that, unlike legal immigrants, illegal aliens are not subject to stringent background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine the existence of any national security threat that they might pose.

It is additionally concerning that SB 957 expressly authorizes Illinois driver’s license officials to accept consular IDs and foreign passports as proof of identification. States do not have the capacity to verify the validity of these documents. Remember, the 19 September 11 hijackers carried among them over 60 state driver’s licenses.

Mindful of this, the first and most important recommendation of the 9/11 Commission was to tighten issuing requirements. Issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens – as Illinois intends to do – could not be more counterproductive to the Commission’s intent.

It Invites and Condones Illegal Immigration
Illinois already has a welcome mat out for illegal aliens and not surprisingly now has 550,000 persons residing unlawfully in the state costing taxpayers over $4.5 billion annually. Unless Illinois has a genuine interest in attracting even more illegal aliens, there can be no justification for extending privileges. The policy condones the presence of illegal aliens by providing them with driving privileges and a de facto identification document which allow them to continue to live and work in the country unlawfully – all while they and their children utilize public benefits and services.