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CCI praises Senate passage of temporary licenses for immigrants

The Illinois Senate today approved expanding Temporary Visitor Driver's Licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Catholic Conference of Illinois Executive Director Robert Gilligan applauded the Senate's actions, noting that many families are separated when unlicensed, immigrant drivers are stopped for a minor traffic violation, and then deported because of their status.

“Too many of our immigrant families have been torn apart by the simple act of driving,” Gilligan said in a press release. “What hurts one family hurts our entire community, for the family is the building block of society.”

Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 957 on a 41-14 vote, with one lawmaker voting "present." See the roll call here. The legislation now moves to the House for consideration. UPDATE: The House adjourned without taking up SB 957, but may vote on the legislation when it returns to session on Jan. 3, 2013.

Temporary Visitor Driver's Licenses are currently issued to individuals with legal immigration status but no Social Security Number. TVDLs can only be used for driving, and not for identification.

Immigrants would have to pay a fee, and pass vision, written and road tests to get a TVDL. They also would have to provide proof of Illinois residency of at least one year, and purchase auto insurance.