Driver's Privilege Card Bill Advances

Driver's Privilege Card Bill Advances

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Richard Piatt ReportingA bill that would create a new category driver's license for illegal immigrants is making progress on Utah's Capitol Hill. Earlier today the bill squeaked by a Senate Committee.

The bottom line on the bill is efforts to address the complex problems of illegal immigration in this country. If this bill passes, an ID-type card---different than a regular license-- would allow illegal immigrants to drive. But they wouldn't be able to use it as ID to board an airplane or to vote. Supporters also say the bill stops fraud, and ends a culture of legitimacy that comes with a license.

But Hispanic leaders have concerns about profiling, fear, and discrimination associated with a special license.

Joe Reyna/GOP Latino Task Force: "The driver's license issue is a controversial issue because you're talking about an issue of identification. Any time you're dealing with the identification you're going to deal with racial profiling."

Jose Ramirez, Resident Alien: "It's a big problem with the people, it's a big problem with the whole Latino population in the state. And if they take the driver's license out, what are they going to do with those people?"

Immigrants also say the whole system needs to be reformed, not just this one part.

Today, the committee hearing the bill had to vote two times on it before it passed, using parliamentarian tactics to bring it to the full Senate.

The bottom line is leadership is supportive of the bill, partly because Congress is in the midst of passing legislation that does almost the same thing.

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