SB 957 Passes in House Of Representatives!

January 08, 2013




Today the Illlinois House of Representatives, by a 65-46 vote, passed SB 957, which will enable undocumented immigrant motorists to get driver’s licenses. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has issued the following statement:


Today, Illinois made history by becoming the first state since 2003 to pass driver’s licenses legislation for undocumented immigrants. The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) would first like to thank all of our immigrant families and immigrant rights activists who have been fighting to pass such legislation during the past 13 years. Illinois has now shown that we have the courage to work in a bipartisan manner to pass sensible legislation to protect public safety, welcome immigrants, and protect our families.


We would also like to thank the bill’s sponsors, Senate President John Cullerton and Representative Eddie Acevedo and Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, Latino Caucus, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for their leadership in passing this important legislation. Additionally, we would like to thank Governor Pat Quinn, Former Governor Jim Edgar, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, among others, who endorse the legislation as a sensible solution to keep our highways safe and families secure.


We are deeply grateful to our allies within the Highway Safety Coalition, which included a broad spectrum of business, labor, healthcare, faith, and community organizations that fought for this smart and sensible solution.


SB 957 will allow undocumented immigrants to receive a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), requiring them to get tested, trained, licensed and insured. With TVDLs, undocumented immigrants will be able to drive to work, school, worship, or shopping without fearing the risk of deportations, and their children will now have one less worry.


Last November’s elections demonstrated the power of the Latino and immigrant vote, and the need for both Democrats and Republicans to work together to find sensible solutions to fix our broken immigration system. Today we took a first step down that road.


“Passing the highway safety legislation is proof that both parties can put the politics of fear and scapegoating aside and work on practical solutions that keep our roads and families safe,” said ICIRR CEO Lawrence Benito. “Illinois is an example of what can happen nationally. We are even more energized now to pass a comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level that includes a path to citizenship,” he added.


The legislation now goes to Governor Quinn, who has committed to signing the bill into law. Once signed by the Governor, the legislation will go into effect in 10 months.


The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit