Gray Signs Bill Granting Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Gray Signs Bill Granting Driver's Licenses To Undocumented Immigrants

Play associated audio

 D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in the nation's capitol.

Unless Congress decides to intervene — which isn't considered likely — starting May 1 next year, undocumented immigrants will be able to drive in D.C. using what mayor Gray calls "limited purpose drivers licenses."

The two-tiered system is a step back from what the D.C. council originally pursued — a single driver ID for all residents, regardless of immigration status.

But the council backtracked when it became clear the IDs would be out of compliance with federal law.

Under the bill, the limited purpose IDs will be marked "not valid for federal purposes," meaning they cannot be used to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings.

"What we want is a legal way for people to be able to drive, to be able to get a license, to register get a car, get insurance and to provide that level of safety for themselves, their families and for other residents of the District," says Council member Mary Cheh, who chaired the committee that oversaw the bill's passage.

Ten states, including Maryland, have passed legislation to allow those living in the country illegally to get licenses.

NPR

From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.
NPR

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

The Potato Chip Lady, aka Myrtle Young, died in August of this year. She was 90. Young became famous after showing her collection of unusually shaped chips to Tonight Show host Johnny Carson in 1987.
NPR

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

An agreement between the Tennessee Hospital Association and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam expands Medicaid without tax dollars, an agreement that could be a blueprint for other states.
NPR

Die-In, Vortex, Selfie Stick: What's The Word Of 2014?

In January, members of the American Dialect Society will vote on the 2014 Word of the Year. Linguist Ben Zimmer runs through some contenders — including words both old and new.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.