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Bill in Lansing would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses

Bill in Lansing would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses (file photo)

LANSING, Mich. (SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP) - Undocumented immigrants in Michigan may be able to obtain drivers licenses if a bill gets the green light in Lansing.

This bill has been a hot talker for years.

The bill was introduced before and and it failed, but it's being reintroduced again with renewed hope and with at least some support from both parties.

Chances are you are sharing the road with people who don't have driver's licenses--people who may be undocumented immigrants.

Tonight, some lawmakers and drivers feel it's a good idea to allow undocumented immigrants to go to the DMV and apply for driver's licenses.

"Yeah, I think they should be able to, because more likely they are going to drive they are going to drive anyways, it's better to be legal," one person said.

"There are buses, but cars are more conventional," said another.

"It's a good idea because when you see the driver license you find every information about the people," a third person told Sinclair Broadcast Group.

But not everyone is on board yet.

"If you start rewarding individuals that automatically don't follow the rules, why should the rest of us?" said Republican State Representative Peter Lucido, of Shelby Township.

Rep. Lucido is asking questions before backing the bill.

"My first blush is, number one, do they get to vote with those driver's licenses, because they are undocumented, number two, what else is that license going to be used for, number three, if they are undocumented who has vetted these individuals to give them a driver's license and if there is no vetting process I think we are putting ourselves at risk," he said.

Democrat Stephanie Chang, of Detroit, says drivers are already at risk.

"If you are a driver who is driving without a license, you are actually much more likely to be in a fatal car crash," she said.

So she and Republican Dave Pagel, of Berrien Springs, are teaming up to pass bills that would allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses.

Pagel, who is a farmer, says he's going to try to get his Republican colleagues on board despite the intense political environment that surrounds immigration.

"I'm just a little ashamed of our country's attitudes towards immigrants right now both legal and illegal. I think we are better than that and I don't agree with this let's build a wall and keep them out," he said.

Rep. Lucido asked if these drivers licenses would allow undocumented immigrants to vote. Chang says no.

Other states that allow undocumented immigrants to drive put a marker on their ID to indicate if they are non-citizens. That is a system lawmakers are looking to implement if this bill passes.

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