Klarides Exposes Flawed, Partisan Process for Granting Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants

HARTFORD — State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) spoke out today against the hurried and sloppy technique majority legislators used to craft and force through a controversial bill allowing undocumented immigrants to attain driving privileges.

The bill, which was called for debate by Democratic legislators after 10:00pm, would grant undocumented immigrants the privilege to obtain a Connecticut driver’s license starting in 2015.

“The process by which this measure came through the legislature has been, frankly, irresponsible and disappointing,” Rep. Klarides said. “With many important questions left unanswered, this far-reaching policy was hastily rushed through in the dead of night by majority legislators, postponing the start of the debate until after 10:00pm.”

The measure did not go through the normal legislative process, and has not passed through a single legislative committee.

“This divisive and important issue is very meaningful to a lot of folks in this state, and has the potential to help a lot of people. It deserved a comprehensive and fair evaluation, and likely would have garnered bipartisan support, but was instead driven by stubborn partisanship.”

Klarides supported an amendment to create a task force aimed at accurately determining the ramifications and effects this sweeping program may have. It was defeated on party lines.

“Without a study or any effort to thoroughly vet this concept, we can only speculate the impact this bill will have on homeland security, public safety, insurance policy holders and insurance companies. Perhaps even more troubling is that we have no plan to allocate the financial and staff resources needed for the DMV to manage the colossal influx of demand that will cripple their day-to-day operations.”

Seven states that granted driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants have repealed the law.

“Hastily ramming this legislation through at a time when most people are asleep, including many reporters and investigative watchdogs, illustrates the proponents’ underlying motive: pure politics.”

The bill now awaits action by Senate. The 2013 legislative session adjourns June 5.

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