Immigration Measures Get State, National Attention

Jan 28, 2013

Illinois is the fourth state to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license. Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation over the weekend surrounded by  supporters.

Credit Illinois Secretary of State

Quinn says people need a way to get to work, drive to the doctor and drive their children to school. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new law should serve as a model for the nation.

Many Republicans agree, including Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno:

I hope that we can take this model on this bill in this state and apply it nationally to get something done that so desperately needs to be done. - Illinois Sen. Christine Radogno

The card will be different from regular licenses. It cannot be used as a form of identification. State Representative Eddie Acevedo applauded the Governor for signing the measure:

To our view, this is a victory for all of us. But, my friends, today is about more than just celebrating our achievement. For this achievement, while wonderful, is just another mile marker in a journey to secure the American dream for all people. - Illinois Rep. Eddie Acevedo

New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Utah issues permits.

U.S. Senators Address Federal Immigration Policy

In the nation's capital, a bipartisan Senate group is expected to introduce its plan to remake federal immigration policy. Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin says the group will push for comprehensive immigration reforms:

"We have virtually been going, maybe, 25 years without a clear statement about immigration policy, that's unacceptable in this nation of immigrants.   And we're also saying, that we're putting as a high priority the unification of families.  To make sure that families have a chance to come together." - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin

Durbin also said on Fox News Sunday that the plan will include the Dream Act, which would give a path to citizenship for undocumented young people. Durbin says he's encouraged by the bipartisan vote last week to tweak the filibuster rules in the Senate.