Billy-LawlessChicago, Illinois – The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition – IBIC applauds Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, co-chaired by Representative Lisa Hernandez and Senator Iris Martinez, on the implementation of the temporary visitors driver’s licenses – TVDL program.

In 2013, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bipartisan legislation, signed by Governor Pat Quinn, to authorize the Secretary of State office to allow undocumented workers apply for driver’s licenses. Today, 181,000 undocumented workers have been licensed and insured, making our roads safer, saving all motorists money and injecting an additional $160 million in new revenue into the Illinois economy each year. 

Additionally, Secretary White announced that as of July 1, 2016 all secretary of state facilities, except for Chicago North and Chicago West, will be processing TVDLs without an appointment.

“The TVDL program has strengthened Illinois’s economy, made roads safer, created jobs and protected immigrant families,” said Rebecca Shi, Executive Director of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, “TVDL is a shining example of a pragmatic, bipartisan solution to our broken immigration system.”

“The restaurant industry and the huge segment of immigrants we employ have benefited immeasurably from the TVDL program. This new walk-in policy provides another great benefit for our restaurant workers who no longer have to worry about missing work to make their TVDL appointments,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, “We are proud to have supported this progressive program that benefits the backbone of the restaurant industry – our immigrant community.”

“The Illinois hospital community is proud to support the TVDL program,” saidA.J. Wilhelmi, President and CEO of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, “Safe roads lead to safe families and a healthy Illinois.”

“As one of the largest Hispanic-serving hospital systems in Illinois, Sinai is proud to have provided early and strong support for the TVDL legislation and now its implementation,” said Karen Teitelbaum, President and CEO of Sinai Health System. “Today’s celebration marks the success of a program that keeps our families safe, our roads safe, and communities healthy.”

“TVDL keeps my family safe in McHenry County,” said Erendira Rendon, Director of Organizing at the Resurrection Project, “Working with Secretary White and Latino Caucus to process TVDLs without appointments has been a successful partnership to deliver greater safety for our roads and our immigrant families.”

“I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and drove myself, without a license, to the doctors for my radiation therapy,” said Esperanza Villalobos, leader with the Resurrection Project, “I was more afraid of being detained by the police and separated from my children, than the results from my cancer treatment. The news that we no longer need an appointment is a great achievement. More people will apply now so that they can drive to work or the doctors without fear.”

“11 House and 11 Senate Republicans supported TVDL legislation,” said Tom Cross, former minority leader of the Illinois House of Representative, “181,000 new licensed and insured drivers today fully demonstrate that this bipartisan, pragmatic legislation is economically important, politically smart and morally right for Illinois.”

“Irish construction workers motivated me to fight for driver’s licenses since 2009,” said Billy Lawless, Chairman, Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, “Today our Irish workers are licensed and insured. They create more jobs and grow the Illinois economy.”

“TVDL has made roads safer for all motorists in Lake County,” said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran,” Jesse White has been a very decent man in his position as Secretary of State. Hence, I am not surprised that he would figure a way to make this happen for undocumented immigrants and still maintain the integrity of the Drivers License process. Thank you Jesse White. You are a class act.”

Illinois Business Immigration Coalition will continue to work with Secretary White and legislators to effectively implement the TVDL program to strengthen Illinois’s economy, create jobs, make roads safer and protect immigrant families.

The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition promotes common sense immigration reform that advances Illinois economic competitiveness, provides Illinois companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens.   For more information please visitwww.illinoisbic.biz

Author: UI