Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, former Gov. Jim Edgar and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are among the political heavy hitters calling for Illinois to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Officials say passing such legislation would make Illinois’ roads safer, and a bipartisan slate of supporters plans a news conference to discuss it today. They say about 250,000 immigrant motorists who can’t get insurance are on state roads and contribute to more than $660 million in insurance claims.
The issue also has political implications. Latino voters were credited with helping Democrats win big on Election Day.
Edgar and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka are Republicans and say the GOP needs to do more to court the growing voter bloc.
New Mexico and Washington already require licenses for illegal immigrants.