The Democrats’ takeover of the Virginia statehouse includes advancing legislation that would give driver’s licenses to as many as 300,000 illegal immigrants in the state.
The local Fox News affiliate reported that critics say the law would reward this demographic, which has already broken the law by being in the country illegally. Those who support the bill say it would “increase the state’s revenue and decrease the level of fear existing in the immigrant community.”
“There’s 17 other states who have done it and the other states have removed the legal presence requirement, the number of collisions have gone down,” Scott Surovell, a Democrat, said in the Fox 5 report.
Fox 5 reported the large population of illegal immigrants that could be issued licenses:
Senator Surovell says it would impact between 160,000 and 300,000 undocumented immigrants without driver’s licenses in the Commonwealth; immigrants in Virginia illegally but working, going to doctor’s appointments and more. Many who if stopped in a routine traffic stop could face being detained or deported.
Surovell says granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants could generate between ten million and seventeen million dollars a year.
Aside from the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, 15 states allow illegal immigrants to legally drive — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
The Virginia Senate will vote on the bill on Monday, according to the Fox report, and the House will vote on an identical bill. If the bill passes both chambers and Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam signs it, the law would go into effect on January 1, 2021.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.