Next desirable destination for illegal immigrants: Colorado. The Guardian reports that the Centennial State has begun issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards to immigrants “regardless of legal status”:
About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days to get the documents, with more getting scheduled every day. Both people in the country illegally and those who have temporary legal status will qualify.
The demand for the licenses and identification cards has been tremendous, with the state’s website for appointments crashing at one point because of traffic, and immigrant advocates urging officials to add more locations where people can go. So far, appointments are being handled at only five locations – Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. . . .
Immigrants with temporary legal permits don’t have to make appointments, only those in the country illegally. Those without legal status must show documents like a utility bill to prove they’ve lived in Colorado the previous two years, in addition to an identification number they’ve used to pay taxes. They must also show a passport or other identification from their home country.
Those with a temporary legal status must present the documents that prove that, as well as evidence that they’re Colorado residents.
Driver’s licenses will cost $50.50, higher than the $21 that legal residents pay. Identification cards will be $14, also higher than the $10.50 paid by everyone else. The new program will be supported by user fees.
The documents must be renewed every three years, and the cards will be marked to say they can’t be used for voting or to obtain federal benefits.
Several states — Washington, Illinois, Nevada, and New Mexico among them — already provide driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. An Oregon law that would do the same will be on the ballot in November.