Lawmaker Seeking Alternative Path For Immigrant Driver Permit Bill

May 16, 2013

At this late stage in the legislative session, most bills that haven't made it out of at least one chamber are left to the wind, but there is still a chance for a bill with bipartisan support that proposes to provide immigrants without legal documentation a driver’s permit.

Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, is carrying the bill, which was authored by Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.

Alonzo said House Bill 3206 can find a way to move forward as an attachment to an undisclosed senate bill already making its way through the House State Affairs Committee. 

This bill not only provides non-residents with a driver’s permit, it creates a statewide database for all undocumented persons.

"[To receive] the permit, the person would have to have insurance, would be subject to a criminal history, fingerprints and a photograph," Alonzo said.

Alonzo said the bill was created to reverse a bill passed during the previous session by Williams that prohibited the state from issuing a driver's license to immigrants without documentation.

Alonzo said the number one issue among Hispanic voters is immigration, and he pointed out that the legislature’s Mexican American Caucus is in full support of the bill, along with House Tea Party Republicans.  

Even with all this confidence, Alonzo would not divulge which existing legislation his bill would be attached to.