Driving Privilege Card Bill Clears Committee - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Driving Privilege Card Bill Clears Committee

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DOVER, Del. - Earlier this year, lawmakers posed a question. How should the state of Delaware deal with undocumented immigrants, who are driving on the roads illegally without identification or insurance.

To answer this question, a 25-person task force explored various options, and in the end recommended the issuance of Driving Privilege Cards to qualified immigrants. Now on Wednesday, a bill cleared the Public Safety Committee to do just that, and is going to be considered on the Senate floor.

The bill would only be given to people, who could provide two years of state tax returns. The person would also have to pass a road, written, and vision test. Lastly, the individual would be required to purchase driving insurance. The card would only be used for driving purposes, and not for any other means of identification.

Chairman of the Delaware Hispanic Commission Javier Torrijos said the bill would allow for Latinos to step out of the shadows.

"It's the humanity side of it," he said. "It's the real issues that Latinos are facing. And it's not just Latinos but it's many others."

In front of dozens of people gathered outside of Legislative Hall, Torrijos spoke about people who need to choose between breaking the law by driving and missing work.

"They want to be able to be productive citizens," he said. "And they want to be able to not live in the shadows of fear."

But at Legislative Hall, Republican Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, said many Republican lawmakers are concerned with the bill.

"A lot of the reservations that I'm hearing," he said. "Are from actual constituents of mine. And they're concerned that giving people that are here illegally against federal law legitimizes their behavior."

In past interviews, Republican lawmakers said that finger printing was a must for the bill. Not only does the introduced bill include finger printing, but also it includes some of the most rigorous testing in the country, according to the bill's sponsor.

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