Bill Would Give Illegal Immigrants In Indiana Right To Drive

INDIANAPOLIS – 14 states issue driving cards to undocumented immigrants in place of licenses. Immigrant activist groups want Indiana to be next.

Rep Chris Campbell

West Lafayette Representative Chris Campbell says her bill would mean fewer uninsured drivers on the road and make the roads safer. Immigrant groups say the driving cards would recognize the dignity of Indiana’s estimated 100-thousand undocumented residents. And they argue it would address their fear of being arrested for driving without a license, which could lead to them being deported.

Officers could still make traffic stops, but violations like a broken taillight would put drivers at risk only of a ticket, not being taken into custody.

Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance

Dara Marquez with the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance says Congress needs to pass broad immigration reform, but says she sees little chance of that. She says the driving cards would address an immediate problem.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears endorsed the bill at a statehouse news conference. He says if there is a traffic stop, police need to be able to look at an I-D and find out who the driver is.

So far, the bill hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing.