ICIRR ANNOUNCES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO WIN COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM AT DRIVER’S LICENSES BILL SIGNING

January 28, 2013
ICIRR ANNOUNCES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO WIN COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM AT DRIVER’S LICENSES BILL SIGNING
Community reinvigorated and political will to pass a federal immigration reform

Today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the highway safety legislation into law.  Illinois makes history by becoming the first state in over a decade that had the courage to work in a bipartisan manner to pass driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The legislation will enable 250,000 undocumented immigrant motorists in Illinois to apply for a Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s Licenses (TVDL). 
On this historic day, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) joins its national partner, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement in endorsing  and participating in national mobilization efforts this Spring to pass an immigration reform through the Keeping Families Together Campaign. 
The Keeping Families Together” campaign unites immigrant activists, advocates, champions and most importantly immigrant families themselves in a demand for a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. The campaign will focus on; mass mobilizations across the country, and lifting the veil on the moral crisis of family separation. 
"Today is a proud day for our immigrant community, who have been fighting for driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants for the last 13 years," said ICIRR's CEO Lawrence Benito.  "The signing of today's law sends a clear signal - our country is ready to unite in a bipartisan manner to pass a humane immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship," he added.  
The 2012 election made clear that Latino and immigrant voters consider this a personal issue and a defining one.  In fact, an entire electorate now clearly demands a practical solution that keeps families together as they work toward achieving a path to citizenship.  
“I thank everyone who actively participated in making this legislation happen and challenge people to get involved by helping pass an immigration reform,” said Maria Eugenia Flores, leader at the Southwest Organizing Project.  “This was a great first step, but now we need to ensure that our families aren’t separated through deportation, but are given the chance to contribute to society.”
“Undocumented immigrants will now be able to drive to work, to school, to worship, or the store without fearing that a traffic stop will put them at risk of deportation,” said Benito.   “Illinois is an example of what can happen nationally now that the community is energized and the political will exists.”
The law will go into effect 10 months from this Sunday, on November 27, 2013.  It will allow undocumented motorists to apply for Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs).  Applicants will need to prove they have lived in Illinois for one year, provide a valid passport or consular identification document, maintain insurance on their vehicles, and pass all relevant written, vision, and road tests.  
For more information people are encouraged to call ICIRR’s hotline 1-855-help-my-family or visit TVDLs FAQs.