Illinois Bill Would Impact All Americans, Says FAIR
( Washington, D.C. - December 7, 2012) The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is calling upon Gov. Pat Quinn to veto SB 957, legislation that would grant Illinois driver's licenses to illegal aliens. SB 957 was approved by the State Senate on Tuesday and is expected to pass the State House of Representatives as well.
SB 957 ignores explicit warnings by the blue ribbon commission that investigated the attacks of 9/11 that making government-issued identification documents available to people who are in the country illegally poses a serious threat to homeland security. Even though Illinois licenses issued to illegal aliens could not be used to board commercial airliners, the 9/11 Commission report noted that such documents were vital to the terrorists' planning and execution of the attacks.
"Enactment of SB 957 would pose a threat to the safety and security of the nation. As such, it is not simply a state matter, but an issue of concern to all Americans," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "We strongly urge Gov. Quinn to act responsibly and veto SB 957."
Not only does the bill compromise homeland security, SB 957 also promises to make Illinois a magnet for widespread fraud. The two other states that issue licenses to illegal aliens - New Mexico and Washington - have found pervasive use of false addresses and fraudulent documents by non-resident illegal aliens to obtain licenses.
And because Illinois cannot positively confirm the identities of foreign nationals who apply for licenses in many cases, the state will likely be complicit in helping people establish false identities. "When people who pose a danger to American society are able to create new identities with assistance of the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, we will all face precisely the sort of threat the 9/11 Commission warned about," Stein said.
Finally, FAIR challenges the contentions of the bill's sponsors that it would improve road safety in Illinois. Data show that New Mexico has the second highest rate of uninsured motorists, 26 percent, while Washington ranks tenth on the list. "There is no evidence to suggest that people who are already inclined to disobey laws they find inconvenient and who, in many cases have few assets to protect, are going to purchase insurance just because they have licenses.
"Nor is there any reason to believe that granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens would make drivers safer or cut down on DUIs. Having a license is not likely to change the personal behavior of people who are inclined to endanger themselves and everyone else on the road by getting behind the wheel when they are impaired," Stein cautioned. "If road safety truly was their concern, Illinois could easily deter most unlicensed drivers by imposing stiff fines, impounding vehicles, and promising greater cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
"SB 957 is not about public safety. It is about satisfying the political demands of illegal aliens and their advocates. Illinois, and in particular Cook County, have made it clear that their overriding objective is protecting those who violate U.S. immigration laws. However, in this case the Illinois Legislature is not just committing the state's resources and tax dollars to their effort to undermine enforcement of immigration laws. SB 957 will put every American at risk unless Gov. Quinn vetoes this irresponsible legislation," concluded Stein.