Democrat State Rep. John Bucy of Austin is attempting to ease the way for illegal aliens to receive Texas driver’s licenses.
House Bill 3175 would “indicate which documents are acceptable” to receive a driver’s license in Texas, “increase accessibility by providing the information in multiple languages, and provide clarity for the agency [DPS],” according to Bucy.
The changes proposed by Bucy would essentially allow any illegal alien crossing the Texas-Mexico border who receives a “pending” status from the federal government to immediately receive a Texas Driver’s License.
Currently, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylees must present one of five forms of documentation to receive a Texas Driver’s License:
- A valid, unexpired U.S. passport book or card stating “THE BEARER IS A UNITED STATES NATIONAL AND NOT A UNITED STATES CITIZEN.”
- A valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
- A Machine Readable Immigrant Visa with temporary I-551 language and ADIT stamp
- An unexpired foreign passport, visa (Visa may be valid or expired) with valid I-94 (the visa requirement may be waived in the case of Parolees, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and certain Canadian non-immigrants)
- A valid, unexpired employment authorization document (I-766).
Bucy is seeking to codify acceptable documentation forms to also include the following:
- Documentation with an alien number or I-94 number, including a form I-797 indicating the applicant has: a pending I-485; a pending application for adjustment, extension, or change of status; a pending motion for nonimmigrant worker status; or another pending category.
- An employment authorization document.
- Both a valid immigrant visa presented within one year of endorsements and an unexpired foreign passport.
- An unexpired foreign passport presented with a current border crossing card and an I-94 number.
“Although many may be fooled by this bill largely codifying documentation that is already accepted by DPS for the purpose of obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, this is not so,” explained Chris Russo, president of Texans for Strong Borders, in his testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety.
“The Biden Administration has, over the course of the previous two years, abused and circumvented federal immigration law to create literally millions with ongoing pending legal status that may be covered by this bill. If this bill is passed, Texas may be forced to issue driver’s licenses to people who have no legal right to reside in the United States, but who have been given a pending status by illicit programs created by the current presidential administration,” added Russo.
Russo asked that the committee oppose HB 3175 and “not afford those who have crossed illegally privileges that should be reserved for citizens.”
HB 3175 was left pending before the committee, which is led by Republican State Rep. Ryan Guillen (R–Rio Grande City).