(RepublicanNews.org) – One of the latest state attempts to give illegal immigrants rights and privileges afforded to US citizens has been dropped in Indiana.
After endorsing a bill in early February that would have granted driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in Indiana, a state Senate committee failed to pass the bill to the full Senate by Friday, February 24th.
The bill’s sponsors and supporters did not fall along the usual and predictable partisan lines. Republican Blake Doriot was the original sponsor. While he acknowledged that the issue of immigration nationally was a “bipartisan screw-up,” he argued that illegal immigrants were important enough to the state’s economy that allowing them to drive legally made sense.
It is not clear how many privileges usually reserved for citizens would need to be given to illegal aliens before they became “legal” by default, if not in name.
Supporters of immigrant rights were pleased that the state’s Homeland Security and Transportation Committee originally endorsed the bill. Although several similar bills have been proposed in the past, they have never been endorsed – until now – by the Republican-controlled legislature in Indiana.
The bill stumbled in the Senate Appropriations Committee, which effectively killed it. Bills with estimated costs as high as the driver’s license bill need that committee’s blessing to advance.
The bill’s sponsor wasn’t the only state Republican in favor of the move. Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray also wanted to see it succeed, saying he agreed with supporters’ claims that licensing illegal immigrants would improve road safety by reducing the number of drivers without liability insurance.
Bray said he thought the bill would “come back” in the future once people became acclimated to the idea.
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