CHICAGO - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was joined by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to sign into law driver's licenses for Illinois residents that are visa holders and that do not have the legal authorization to be in America.
The bill was passed in the General Assembly during January's lame duck veto session and both Republicans and Democrats supported the measure. Mike Mahoney published this photo on Twitter as the crowd waited for the signing to begin. The lobbying group that pushed hardest and is celebrating most for the law's passage is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, as the banner in the room's back right hand corner shows.
Is the TVDL valid as proof of identity?
No—and as a result, the TVDL cannot be used for voting, getting a firearms identification card, boarding an airplane, or entering a federal building. However, hospitals, first responders, and others could still use the TVDL as a document to indicate the person’s name and address. TVDL holders could still provide passports and consular identification cards as proof of identity.
Could the TVDL be used as a bond card?
Yes. Drivers with TVDLs can produce the card as bond during a traffic stop, just as drivers with regular licenses can. They would get ticketed rather than being arrested (because they cannot produce bond) and ending up in the criminal justice and immigration enforcement pipeline. Police time and jail space will no longer be taken up with so many motorists who are arrested for driving without a license.
What happens if someone with a TVDL drives without insurance?
TVDL holders will be subject to all provisions of the Vehicle Code, including those requiring insurance coverage. In fact, anyone applying for any license, including a TVDL, must prove that the vehicle she is using for her road test is insured. Finally, if someone with a TVDL is stopped and cannot show proof of insurance, the TVDL becomes invalid, and the motorist can be ticketed for driving without a license.
If someone with a TVDL is stopped, will law enforcement know that the person is undocumented?
TVDLs will be available to both visa holders and undocumented immigrants, so law enforcement officers cannot assume that anyone with a TVDL is undocumented.
Does the TVDL grant any status to undocumented immigrants?
Immigration status is a matter of federal law. TVDLs issued under state law cannot convey any immigration status. TVDLs would do nothing more than enable undocumented immigrants to comply with our state’s traffic laws
More points made HERE. Illinois Review asked the Republican National Hispanic Assembly's newly-elected president John Guevara his opinion about SB 957: