New Legislation on Illegal Immigrants and Driver's Licenses

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New legislation was passed in Maryland this Monday regarding the issuance of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.  Starting on June 1, 2009, all applicants for new driver's licenses in the state of Maryland will be required to present proof of legal status in the U.S.  Illegal immigrants who already possess Maryland driver's licenses will be permitted to renew their licenses until July 1, 2015.  The licenses that this group of illegal immigrants will receive will permit driving privileges in the state of Maryland, but will not be allowed to be used as identification when boarding an airplane. 

I think that the actions of the legislature regarding illegal immigrants and driver's licenses are regrettable.  It is a plain and obvious fact that preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses will in no way deter illegals from operating automobiles.  Illegall immigrants, just like all Americans, require the use of automobiles to commute to their jobs, buy food and supplies for their families, and undertake other necessary activities.  Ultimately, the effect of this legislation will result in hundreds of thousands of unlicensed drivers flooding our roadways.  The presence of unlicensed drivers on the roads poses a serious safety risk, as these individuals will not have passed the written and road tests that are required to obtain a Maryland driver's license.  It is statistically documented that unlicensed drivers cause accidents and injuries at a higher rate than those who are licensed.

To be fair, the legislature was essentially forced to restrict the driving privileges of illegal immigrants by the federal government.  Had no action been taken regarding this issue, there was a significant possibility that Maryland licenses would have been rejected at airports across the country. 

For information on general immigration issues and topics, including green cards and naturalization, visit

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan Portner published on April 20, 2009 12:23 PM.

Illegal Immigrants with U.S. Citizen Children was the previous entry in this blog.

Tips on Naturalization: Criminal Records is the next entry in this blog.

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