Bishops Back SB 957: Temporary Licenses For Immigrants
Senate Bill 957 passed the Illinois House on Jan. 8, 2013, after passing the Senate in December. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he will sign the measure into law. Read the language of the bill here and here. Read our press release after House passage here.
Members of the Catholic Campaign For Immigration Reform–Illinois Statewide Network traveled to Springfield on Wed., Nov. 28 to educate lawmakers on TVDLs, ending the day with a prayer. See photos on our Facebook page. Read the Daily Herald story about the lobby day. Watch our driver's licenses advocacy video!
What Is A TVDL?
TVDLs are currently issued to individuals who have lawful immigration status but no Social Security Number. A TVDL may be used only for driving and not for identification. They must be renewed after three years.
Individuals seeking a TVDL have to pay a fee, as well as pass vision, written and road tests — the same requirements of a traditional driver's license that proponents believe would lead to safer highways. To guard against security and fraud issues, immigrants would have to provide some means of identification to get a TVDL, such as a passport or consular identification card. They also would have to show proof of Illinois residency of at least one year.
Immigrants receiving a TVDL would also be required to buy auto insurance, just like every other licensed driver in Illinois. Estimates put the state's number of undocumented immigrants driving without a license at 250,000.
A TVDL is distinguishable from a regular driver’s license because it uses a purple/blue color scheme, instead of a red color scheme. However, because they are already in use, TVDLs would not “flag” an individual as undocumented if stopped by police for a traffic violation. Many undocumented immigrants are deported to their home country, separated from their children, when they are stopped for a minor traffic violation and are unable to produce a license.
CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan participated in a Chicago press conference advocating for the extension of TVDLs to immigrants. Watch and listen to his statement here.
Need A Fact Sheet/Talking Points? We've Got It.
Individuals must work to provide for their families and contribute to society, and here in Illinois, automobile transportation is often necessary to hold a job that provides food, shelter and medial care for families. This basic level of opportunity and compassion should be afforded to all those working in Illinois.