Debate Over Illegal Workers' Drivers Licenses

Debate Over Illegal Workers' Drivers Licenses

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John Daley ReportingThe issue of driver's licenses for undocumented workers is at the center of a hot debate over immigration policy.

Utah began a program four years ago allowing certain foreign-born workers to get licenses. Supporters say it works, but others are aiming to pull the plug on the program.

There are thousands of undocumented workers driving Utah streets every day. The question: what to do about that? The state answered the question a few years back by starting a program allowing those workers to get a driver's license. But critics say this and programs like it only encourage more illegal immigration.

A few years back the state of Utah started a program allowing undocumented workers to get a driver's license. Long lines formed as thousands showed up to sign up. Now the idea is receiving fresh criticism.

In California's governor's race incumbent Democrat Gray Davis is advocating a similar program there. But his Republican opponents are blasting him, saying it would weaken national security.

Lawmakers in Utah's Republican-dominated legislature created Utah's program. But earlier this summer former Utah County legislator Matt Throckmorton formed a new group called Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, which is seeking changes in five areas of immigration policy including the driver's license policy.

Matt Throckmorton, Utahns for Immigration Reform and Enforcement: “We are encouraging and rewarding illegal immigration. The vast majority that come to Utah get a driver's license and promptly leave."

Former lawmaker Matt Throckmorton and his group plans to lobby the legislature about immigration reform this next session. And Republican candidates are clearly hoping it’s an issue that resonates with California voters.

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