March 30, 2013 by siweiss
In recent years, states have begun to allow illegal immigrants to drive. In many states, this was not an issue until the late 1990s when the standards changed and a social security card was needed to apply for a driver’s license. Prior to 1999, Colorado granted licenses to all residents. However, with a both Senate and House having majority republican, the was a procedural changing requiring anyone who renews their driver’s license, or applies for a driver’s license, to have a social security number.
As I mentioned previously, such changes were common in multiple states. Since, states have begun to take a more liberal stance on the big question Who should be able to drive. According to an analysis by the New York Times, about 4.5 million illegal aliens in the U.S. drive on a regular basis…without licenses, insurance, or even the ability to read road signs. Some states hope that by allowing illegal immigrants to obtain licenses—and driving classes—without the threat of deportation, that the roads will become safer. In New Mexico, illegal immigrants are issued the same licenses that any other citizen has. Other states, such as Utah and California, and Colorado, are attempting to pass differing bills, basically stating that illegal immigrants must get drivers license in order to drive, however the license will not be a proper form of ID and cannot be used to vote or to leave the country.
Democrats currently hold majority in the Colorado state legislative. The legislative body has various bills that will highly affect illegal immigrants in Colorado.
They have passed a bill allowing illegal immigrants who graduate from a Colorado high school, to pay in-state tuition at a Colorado college. Republican Brian Del Grosso not only backed the bill, but notes “by the time some of the kids graduate from college, Obama will be out of office. An executive order is not a law and could change. The bill, he said, is going at it the wrong way. We need have to have comprehensive reform at the federal level” (http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22722022/colorado-house-takes-up-state-tuition-illegal-immigrants).
The state legislative is also attempting to pass a bill rebuking a current 2006 bill passed “restrict[ing] nonemergency benefits like food stamps, supplemental security income and Medicaid to legal residents of Colorado who are 18 or older. Children will be exempt from the law. It also requires that business owners will be required to provide proof that their workers have legal immigration status” (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/12/us/12colorado.html).
Finally, a law allowing illegal immigrants to earn licenses, called the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act, was proposed on Monday in Colorado’s state Senate. State Senator Jessie Ulibarri was the one who proposed the bill. He grew up in a low-class neighborhood in a trailer park and graduated from University of Colorado Bolder.
On his campaign page, he talks about how he saw the troubles classmates of his went through not being able to get an education. The education reform bill is close to his heart. He wants to make the roads safer by allowing people who are breaking the law, because they have no other choice, to get a license. “In 2012, he was elected into the State Senate. Championed by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Commerce City, the bill would require Coloradans seeking a driver’s license to provide a tax identification number, a tax return and present identification from their country of origin” (http://coloradosenate.org/home/directory/senator-jessie-ulibarri). “’It’s good for all of us to make sure the people driving on our roads are safe and this allows people to get licenses and know the rules of the road,’ said Ulibarri,” (http://blogs.denverpost.com/thespot/2013/03/29/after-failed-ballot-initiative-ulibarri-set-to-introduce-bill-that-allows-illegal-immigrants-to-obtain-drivers-licences/93335/). Ulibarri said “public opinion on immigration has changed over the last 10 years, and he’s optimistic he can get Republican support for the measure,” (http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/03/29/bill-would-grant-immigrants-colorado-drivers-licenses/).
The opposer of the bill is long time Republican state Senator Kent Lambert. Lambert graduated from the Air Force Academy, USC, and the Air Institute of Technology. “Ken Lambert, Republican for Colorado Springs, told the Associated Press he believes this measure could violate federal immigration laws,” (http://www.kentlambert.com/AboutKent/Index.html). He argued, “if people are here illegally, that means it’s illegal to do this,” he said. http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/03/29/bill-would-grant-immigrants-colorado-drivers-licenses/
While they is no immediate impact outside of legal and illegal driving residents of Colorado, it appears the state legislature is adamant on finding progressive solutions to the vast amount of undocumented immigrants. They also seem to support a move for federal laws dealing with the issue.
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