Three left-wing members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives announced they intend to introduce a bill to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
State Representatives Danilo Burgos, Joe Hohenstein, and Chris Rabb, all Philadelphia Democrats, asserted that unlawful U.S. residents should be able to obtain driving licenses or learners’ permits if they can establish to authorities their real names and dates of birth. They say acceptable documents to prove identity include passports, consular identification papers, marriage licenses, divorce records, or adoption certificates.
The lawmakers couched the issue in terms of fairness and economic efficiency.
“In today’s fast paced world, a driver’s license is essential to secure employment, travel safely, and live a dignified existence,” Burgos wrote in a memorandum on the legislation. “Unfortunately, countless undocumented persons are unable to apply for a driver’s license in Pennsylvania because they do not have the required Social Security Number. These individuals make vital contributions to our economy but lack the equal protections and basic rights that the rest of us enjoy.”
Burgos, Hohenstein and Rabb also touted their proposal for what they believe will be its salutary effect on public safety. They anticipated its enactment would mean fewer unlicensed and uninsured motorists driving Pennsylvania roads. They added they expect it will make many illegal immigrants involved in accidents more comfortable cooperating with police.
At least until three special elections are held next year, Republicans outnumber Democrats in the State House 101-99. But even after the Democrats likely gain those three vacant seats and control the agenda in the lower chamber, chances of the Burgos-Hohenstein-Rabb bill passing are especially remote in the Senate, in which Republicans have a 28-22 majority.
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Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Pennsylvania Daily Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Danillo Burgos (Left)” by Danillo Burgos. Photo “Joe Hohenstein (Center)” by Joe Hohenstein. Photo “Chris Rabb (Right)” by Chris Rabb. Background Photo “Pennsylvania Capitol” by Dough4872. CC BY-SA 4.0.