Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Play

Warnock projected to win in U.S. Senate race for Georgia; new report urges Governor-Elect to fix PA unemployment system; rising land prices pose challenges for VA farmers.

Play

The nation watches as votes are counted in the Senate runoff in Georgia, the House holds hearings in the lame-duck session, and Capitol Police Officers receive medals for their heroism on January 6.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Should Undocumented Texas Residents Get Drivers’ Licenses?

Play

Thursday, December 6, 2012   

DALLAS - Could a national post-election mood change help reverse a Texas crackdown on undocumented residents receiving drivers' licenses?

State Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, hopes so. He's introduced a bill, HB 152, that would require the Department of Public Safety to accept foreign documentation from applicants.

DPS in 2008 stopped issuing licenses to those in the country illegally, and that policy was strengthened by the Legislature in 2011. In prior years, Alonzo says, allowing all residents to test for driving privileges was considered a practical matter.

"The law had been in existence for years because undocumented immigrants are driving. Having a driver’s license is a safety issue, to make sure that they pass the test and are familiar with the laws of the state of Texas."

Immigrant advocates also argue that more drivers would obtain insurance if they could get licenses. Only New Mexico, Washington, and Utah grant undocumented residents licenses or permits, but this week the Illinois Senate approved such a measure by a wide margin.

As immigration concerns have grown increasingly politicized in the past decade, proposals that once saw bipartisan support - ranging from immigrant drivers' licenses to comprehensive immigration reform - were effectively taken off the table. But with more than 70 percent of Latinos voting Democratic in the last election, more and more Republicans now are saying their party needs to rethink its hardline approach. Alonzo thinks the election was a wake-up call, even in red states such as Texas.

"The people have realized that undocumented immigrants are not the boogieman. There are other issues that are much more important. As a result, I think, they see the picture: that they don't need that kind of legislation."

As the next legislative session draws near, fewer immigration-oriented bills have been introduced in Texas than at this time two years ago. Still, current proposals include taking away in-state college tuition rates for undocumented students and expanding immigration detention facilities.

Read the text of HB 152 and track its progress at legis.state.tx.us.


get more stories like this via email

According to Consumer Reports, crowded windowless "factory farms" likely contribute to salmonella and campylobacter bacteria in poultry. The consumer advocacy publication suggests choosing organic-raised poultry over conventional. It acknowledges organic production is more costly. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

A new study is focused on concerns for Nebraska waterways. The three-year, independently funded research identifies rising levels of phosphorus and …


Health and Wellness

Inside a massive appropriations bill now in Congress is a provision which would allow federal funding for dental therapists. Dental therapists …

Environment

Promoting access to nature for underserved communities can improve quality of life while bolstering biodiversity and fighting climate change…


Small businesses like the Goddess Mercado in East Los Angeles employ almost half of all private-sector workers in California. (Martin Gamez/Goddess Mercado)

Social Issues

This holiday season, shopping at local small businesses could bring them as much as $88 billion, according to a survey from Intuit QuickBooks…

Social Issues

Minnesota's projected budget surplus now stands at more than $17 billion, and supporters of clean energy projects and other infrastructure needs say …

Montana landowners and hunters have butted heads in the past about how to best manage the state's elk population. (kojihirano/Adobe Stock)

Environment

With Montana lawmakers looking at a large budget surplus, a group of hunters, scientists and landowners is asking them to consider creating a trust …

Environment

The Iowa Watershed Planning Advisory Council just released its annual report and said the Iowa Water Plan needs an update. The report showed climate …

Social Issues

By Phoebe Petrovic for Wisconsin Watch.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Wisconsin News Connection reporting for Wisconsin Watch-Public News Service …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021