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New Mexicans weary of the contretemps over illegal immigrants and drivers’ licenses, which has engulfed them since Susana Martinez hit the campaign trail back in 2010, were probably surprised to learn that a new law in Illinois permits immigrants without papers to apply for licenses in that state.
So there are now four states that have such laws on their books: New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Illinois.
Four states hardly a bandwagon makes, but with the almost decade-long blockade of anything smacking of immigration reform apparently coming to an end, a number of other states are also toying with the idea.
California, with its huge illegal immigrant population, has long grappled with the problems of unlicensed drivers on its streets and roadways.
Last month the Los Angeles Times reported on a recent study by the California Motor Vehicle Department that finds “Unlicensed drivers in California—the vast majority of whom are illegal immigrants—are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers.”
Well, the study explained, simply “meeting the modest requirements necessary to get a license—passing a written exam and driving test—improves road safety and helps reduce the several thousand fatalities that occur in the state (of California) each year.”
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