Senate rejects driving-card repeal |

Senate rejects driving-card repeal

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Illegal immigrants with Utah driving privilege cards can continue to drive for at least one more year.

A Senate committee Tuesday blocked a representative’s attempt to repeal the controversial cards.

Rep. Glenn Donnelson, R-North Ogden, estimates that about 41,000 of the roughly 100,000 illegal immigrants in the state who are adults have obtained driving privilege cards.

With his House Bill 239 Donnelson hoped to revoke the cards. A state audit estimates that more than 70 percent of the cardholders purchased insurance for their vehicles.

"How many of those dropped that after the first month when they couldn’t afford the monthly payments?" Donnelson asked Tuesday in a meeting of the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.

House members previously voted for HB 239, which Sen. Scott McCoy, D-Salt Lake City, spoke against this morning.

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He disputed Donnelson’s claim that driving privilege cards promote terrorism, because they can only be used to drive – not as other forms of identification.

"What advantage does a terrorist get when he is allowed a driving privilege card? He can drive around town?" McCoy asked Donnelson.

The committee voted 3-2 to reject the bill.