Illinois Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants: Bill Approved By State Senate

Licenses For Undocumented Drivers Approved By State Senate

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Dec 4 (Reuters) - The Illinois state Senate voted on Tuesday to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain temporary drivers licenses, and sent to the House the measure that would make Illinois the most populous U.S. state to allow such licenses.

Only Washington state and New Mexico allow drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, while Utah allows driving permits.

Republican leaders in the Illinois state legislature earlier on Tuesday announced their support for the proposal, after Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Democrats in the November election.

Illinois has some 2 million Hispanics, according to the 2010 Census, and lawmakers said there are an estimated 250,000 undocumented immigrants in the state.

The proposal passed the Senate by a vote of 41 to 14. It now must go to the House for approval, and must be signed into law by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, who has not yet stated his position. (Reporting By Joanne von Alroth; Editing by Greg McCune)

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