Illinois to allow immigrants to get licenses

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FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2013 file photo, supporters of granting illegal immigrants drivers licenses cheer after a House committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. The House passed the legislation Jan. 8 and Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the legislation Sunday, Jan. 27. As Illinois becomes the fourth and most populous state to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, the initiative is still nagged by concerns it has enough safeguards to avoid the identity fraud and other pitfalls faced by the three other states with similar laws. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is the fourth state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license with a new law signed by the governor.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Sunday surrounded by hundreds of supporters who say the measure will make Illinois' roads safer and expand opportunities for illegal immigrants.

Quinn says people need a way to get to work, drive to the doctor and drive their children to school. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new law should serve as a model for the nation.

New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Utah issues permits.

Illinois officials say the dissemination of the temporary licenses is expected to begin in November.

The legislation was billed as a public safety measure and had bipartisan support.