Proposed Bills Aim to Stop Illegal Immigrants from Securing State Licenses

Proposed Bills Aim to Stop Illegal Immigrants from Securing State Licenses

02/23/2011

A number of bills have been introduced in the Legislature that seeks to require individuals who are applying for a driver’s license to prove that they are in the country legally.

The issue on who can get or should get a license to drive has been a hot topic in the state of Washington for a long time. However, it is only now that a considerable number of bills have been filed in the state Legislature to confront the issue.

For the first time ever, some of the measures are being authored by Democrats, making it likely that one may actually pass.

Senate Bill 5407, which seeks to overhaul state law regarding the issuance of state ID cards and state licenses to make sure that these will be out of reach of out-of-state residents or illegal immigrants is authored by a Democrat.

Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, a Democrat from Camano Island and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, was the author of the bill. She said that her bill, which she regarded as bipartisan, will be passed by the Legislature.

Haugen said, “We want to address the guys who fly through this state to get driver’s licenses.” She further added, “And we are going to require people to have a Social Security number to address the illegal-immigrant problem.”

Regarded as the most basic form of identification, a driver’s license is used for almost everything, from cashing a check to boarding a flight. According to the state Department of Licensing, more than 5 million are in use in the state of Washington.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com