Indiana lawmakers push bill to grant driving cards to undocumented immigrants

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Fox59 on 1/13/2020 by Kelly Reinke

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — State lawmakers are continuing to push a proposal that would allow undocumented immigrants in Indiana to legally drive.

It is an idea that has been introduced seven times, but the bill has never received a hearing.

Yet, some representatives believe it is an important issue to take on.

During her first term, State Rep. Chris Campbell introduced HB 1083. It would provide driving cards and learner’s permits to undocumented immigrants.

According to her bill, they would be required to pass a written test and driving test. It would also allow them to get car insurance.

The driving cards would not allow an undocumented immigrant to vote.

“This has been proven to be good for the economy. It makes our roads safer,” she said. “This bill was brought to me by community members. As a legislator, it is up to me to represent my community.”

It is believed thousands of undocumented immigrants fear driving to fulfill basic needs. Advocates of this bill say families should be able to go to work or buy groceries without fear of deportation.

“We very much do not see this as a legal issue, we see this as a human rights issue,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “We see this as a human dignity issue.”

This bill was referred to the House Roads and Transportation Committee, but it is getting some push back.

“Driving is a privilege not a right. You have to earn it in part by being a good citizen and obeying the law. When we try to extend privileges to those out of compliance with the law, we lower our historical standard. Follow the law, and you can obtain a driver’s license. Work outside the law, and you can’t. Most Hoosiers support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration. Get legal, and we welcome you with open arms. It’s really Hoosier commonsense!” said former state Senator Mike Delph.

More than a dozen other states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. New York just signed its bill into law in June. It is a measure that has faced multiple lawsuits. One argued the policy would make New Yorkers less safe.