A plan that would allow illegal immigrants in Illinois to get drivers’ licenses passed the Illinois Senate Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 41-14. The measure now heads to the House. The legislation would let illegal immigrants get tested for licenses and buy insurance. Under current law, most license applicants must have a Social Security number. An estimated 250,000 illegal immigrants in Illinois drive.
Proponents of the measure say it enhances safety and saves money. Opposition urged the federal government to address comprehensive immigration reform. Local State Senators Bill Haine of Alton and Sam McCann of Carlinville voted against the bill. Washington and New Mexico already allow drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. On New Year's Day, California will permit immigrants who have federal work papers to get driver's licenses.