Push to Grant Driver’s Licenses to Unlawful Migrants

U.S. driver's license isolated on white background | Image by Mega Pixel, Shutterstock

State legislation put forth by an Austin representative would make it easier for unlawful migrants to obtain Texas driver’s licenses.

House Bill 3175, authored by Texas Representative John Bucy (D-Austin), would allow an unlawful migrant whose documentation is “pending” with the federal government to receive a Texas license.

The legislation reads that the Texas Department of Public Safety “must accept as satisfactory proof that an applicant is authorized to be in the United States” immigration documentation indicating the applicant has a pending application for permanent residence (I-485), pending application for change of immigration stays, pending petition for nonimmigrant worker status, or “another pending category.”

Other accepted documents would include “an employment authorization document,” a valid immigrant visa, and an unexpired foreign passport alongside legal border crossing documentation.

Bucy said his bill would “increase accessibility by providing the information in multiple languages, and provide clarity for [DPS],” as reported by Texas Scorecard.

John N. Hostettler, vice president of federal affairs for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, sent a statement to The Dallas Express regarding this legislation.

The statement reads, “Given that half of [notices to appear in court] recipients never show up for their court appearance, nearly 90% of asylum claims are denied and there is [a] backlog of more than two million cases in the immigration courts, the crisis at Texas’s border with Mexico will only be exacerbated by guaranteeing such a prized benefit — a Texas driver’s license authorizing the holder to travel anywhere in the U.S. — if H.B. 3175 should become law.”

The bill was considered by the Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee in a public hearing on April 25. But the bill has not moved forward and was left pending in committee.

The Dallas Express reached out to Rep. Bucy’s office for additional comment but received no response by press time.

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1 Comment

  1. Jill M Buckalew

    Drivers licenses for any migrants are a very good idea. Licences require proof of insurance as well as providing revenue. Do you want to be hit by an uninsured driver? Because people that need to travel are going to do it with or without a license.


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