Delaware Senators Townsend and Marshall and Representatives Keeley and Miro presented a bill to have the state issue driver’s license to undocumented immigrants.
The purpose of the bill is to conduct a study and make recommendations which will improve safety and insurance coverage in Delaware drivers.
Current law prohibits the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue license or an identification card to the person who does not satisfactorily demonstrate to be an authorized resident by federal law of the United States.
At present, because they are not eligible, many drivers are driving without proper security and underinsured. Of course, they put the other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
According to calculations by the Division of Motor Vehicles DMV, and based on research of the Pew Research Foundation, about 32,500 would be the number of drivers who are unlicensed or insurance circulating in Delaware , burdening the current Delaware judicial system due to the number of arrests made for driving on state roadways without the proper Division authorization.
The spirit of the proposal is that the benefits of offering a “Driving Privilege Card” would:
- Enable the DMV to remain in compliance with the Real ID Act.
- Promote safety and wellness of Delaware Motorists and Pedestrians by ensuring that more Delaware Motorists have the opportunity to complete the motorist’s safety courses and obtain the proper insurance.
- Help alleviate stress on the Delaware Judicial, law enforcement, and emergency responder systems by helping to reduce the number of unlawful motorists on the Delaware roadways and the number of motor-vehicle accidents.
- Enhance the dynamism of the Delaware Economy and the wellness of its workforce.
Proponents view it as a safety concern. They say teaching undocumented immigrants to drive safely and mandate that they carry vehicle insurance carries benefits that ripple across society.
Detractors say it legitimizes the initial act of entering the country illegally.
Members of the Hispanic community who support the measure made it clear that “Driving Privilege Card” is not citizenship, it will not be an identification card and it is only a driving privilege card for Delaware Motorists.
Javier Torrijos chairs the Delaware Hispanic Commission, which threw its support behind the initiative, notes one of the main problems facing similar programs in other parts of the country…