Lame Duck Lawmakers Could Vote on Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Dec 26, 2012

lllinois lawmakers are giving serious consideration to letting undocumented immigrants get driver's licenses.  But the elected official who oversees driver's licenses is staying out of the debate.

Secretary of State Jesse White
Credit state of Illinois

The Senate okayed a plan that would create temporary drivers licenses for immigrants living here illegally; now it goes to the Illinois House - where the road to passage is bumpy.

"I want our roads to be safe but I want also responsible people behind the wheel."

 Secretary of State Jesse White is one of the architects of the measure.

And yet White won't actually endorse it.

"I want to wait until it clears House, if it does, then I can seriously think about coming on board."

White says he's undecided about key sticking points, like whether immigrants should be fingerprinted before they can get a license.  Some police say it should be done for security; activists say only subjecting immigrants to that kind of scrutiny would be discrimination. 

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report