Illinois is soon to issue Temporary Visitor Drivers Licenses to undocumented immigrants

The Secretary of State's office issues a Temporary Visitor Driver's License (TVDL) for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into this country and are temporarily residing in the State of Illinois and ineligible for a Social Security number.

The Secretary of State’s office issues a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into this country and are temporarily residing in the State of Illinois and ineligible for a Social Security number.

On any given day, just over 4% of the population of the State of Illinois, 525,000 undocumented immigrants (according to a recent Chicago Sun-Times article[i]) drive to work, school, grocery stores, and so on, but without a driver’s license. Things in Illinois are about to change, however, and the Secretary of State’s new program, signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on January 27, 2013[ii], will allow Illinois residents on their path to citizenship drive legally. Traffic stops and citations have plagued undocumented drivers for years, sometimes introducing these drivers to the criminal justice system and triggering the attention of ICE officers.

All it takes is a traffic stop for burned out license plate lights to trigger a myriad of legal troubles for hard working parents just trying to make their way in Chicagoland and feed their families and get them to school. Temporary workers and foreign students are already allowed temporary driving privileges. With the new law allowing for the issuance of a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), undocumented immigrant drivers will be able to buy automobile insurance as well.

Republican leaders backing the bill, as a safety measure, address the issue of undocumented drivers.

Bi-Partisan support for Senate Bill 597 led to the passage of the bill that made it law in the State of Illinois that undocumented immigrants will be allowed to apply for temporary drivers licenses. Written road and vision tests are required. The temporary license is not effective as identification, to vote, to board a plane, but simply for driving only. Illinois lawmakers made many revisions to the bill over time. Many supporters stated that the need for public safety and insured drivers is good for all drivers in Illinois. “I don’t want to get hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance,” said State Comptroller, Judy Barr Topinka. “They have to get to work, they have to get to school, they have to get to daycare,” Topinka said.

Learn more by visiting the Illinois Secretary of State website with additional information.

The Illinois Secretary of State, during a 10-month period after the law was passed in January, will, according to their website, “develop procedures for implementation of the legislation, such as what documents the applicant must present and which facilities will be issuing TVDLs to undocumented immigrants.” Here is a link you can click/tap here to learn more. Further, “The goal of the office is to ensure the program is implemented in a way that improves traffic safety, underscores the importance of driver’s license integrity and security, and provides the highest level of customer service,” states the Illinois Secretary of State website.

If you or a friend may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Visitor Drivers License, you may contact the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley for assistance in determining what needs to be done to obtain the license. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.

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Asylum seekers: Snowden turned down but LGBT Russian accepted

Asylum may not be a frequent topic of discussion at American dinner tables, but Edward Snowden’s appeal for Asylum in 20 other countries certainly stirred discussion about citizens of one nation state who seek protection from persecution in their home country. In the Snowden matter, the Wikileaks member received several responses from countries indicating that Snowden, “must first be on their soil to apply for asylum,” reported the Washington times, also stating that, “This does not rule out the possibility of asylum, nor does it rule out ultimately rejecting his claim and possibly extraditing him to the United States, meaning that Snowden may not see these countries as viable options.[i]

Nobody seemed to want Mr. Snowden but the U.S. gave asylum to Russian LGBT applicants.

Last year, Kargaltsev became one of a handful of gay Russians granted political asylum in the United States. - See more at: http://immigrationequality.org/clippings/the-moscow-times-why-gay-muscovite-sought-and-won-u-s-asylum/#sthash.ENHLgWJJ.dpuf

Last year, Kargaltsev became one of a handful of gay Russians granted political asylum in the United States. – See more at: http://immigrationequality.org/clippings/the-moscow-times-why-gay-muscovite-sought-and-won-u-s-asylum/#sthash.ENHLgWJJ.dpuf

The article reports that Venezuela and Bolivia were open but ultimately declined to offer their open arms. Was global political pressure enough to affect these countries’ decisions in this high profile case? Sometimes asylum can be a game of “hot potato” and there can be challenging circumstances involved such as the individual seeking asylum being exiled from their home nation and literally not having anywhere to go.

One example of those fleeing from homeland persecution are the members of Russia’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) communities. Nikola Krastev, writer for The Moscow Times reported, regarding a Russian Asylum seeker who won U.S. Asylum protection, quoted his interviewee, “”I’m not even talking about being openly gay,” Kargaltsev said. “But what is a person supposed to do when he cannot change his voice and his mannerisms? When [gayness] is detectable visually, there’s little pleasure in it.”[ii]” Krastev continued in his article to state that, “Figures for the number of Russians seeking asylum abroad for their sexual orientation are hard to come by, and it is unclear whether there has been an increase amid police crackdowns on gay rallies in Moscow over the past five years or the passage of an anti-gay law in St. Petersburg in March.”

Asylum is sought by people coming to the United State to be free from persecution, those who fear for their life.

So much of the immigration reform debate has focused on nations nearly bordering U.S. soil, namely Mexico and Cuba. Seeking a better economy and jobs is one thing, but fleeing a home country persecuting its citizens is different, and to many people outside the immigration and the communities it entangles, namely immigration lawyers, do not hear the stories of hard working and good people who sometimes have no choice other than to flee. Reasons people leave for protection in the U.S. can include: political affiliation; race; religion; nationality; gender; sexual orientation and group affiliations to name a few.

Like the countries where Snowden sought asylum, the United States has eligibility rules. If asylum is granted an application’s spouse and children, who are included in the initial application, are also able to remain in the United States as asylees or enter the United States if abroad. Also, under some circumstances an asylum seeker may be allowed to apply to work and earn income in the U.S. The legal process for asylum protection is complex and only a state-licensed immigration attorney should help asylum seekers with the application processes.

You should always confirm that you are working with a licensed attorney in your home state as there are many people who prey upon the fragile position in which asylum seekers find themselves as they try to mitigate a complex and intimidating immigration system.

The Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley helps asylum seekers with the asylum application process from beginning to end. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.


[i] Washington Post. Map: Tracking how countries are answering Snowden’s asylum requests. By Max Fisher, July 2, 2013.

[ii] The Moscow Times. Why a Gay Muscovite Sought, and Won, U.S. Asylum. By Nikola Krastev, August 15, 2012.

News and social media dialogue are great for immigration debate

2010 was a big year in immigration news and Arizona’s SB 1070 is still a frequently discussed topic among immigration attorneys, the clients the serve, and frankly, most U.S. residents in Arizona and from coast to coast. In fact, there are popular Facebook pages dedicated to SB 1070, such as, “Poets Responding to SB 1070,” which has 7,480 “likes” to date! A recent post calls for more poets to submit their content. Maybe you’re a poet and just don’t yet know it? In any case, the volume of the response to a law that caused such a heated debate is compelling.

Poets gather here to respond to Arizona SB 1070, a law that targets immigrants and legalizes racial profiling. We feature poetry and immigrant human rights news.

Poets gather here to respond to Arizona SB 1070, a law that targets immigrants and legalizes racial profiling. We feature poetry and immigrant human rights news.

The poet’s page contains commentary on a wide variety of immigration and societal issues also including race and responses to the George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict. Social media pages collecting opinions of all types and from all backgrounds is helpful to the development of (sometimes strong) dialogue and the exchange of information and ideas about immigration issues.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision – some like it and some don’t.

Even though more than 14 months passed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s addressing the Arizona SB 1070 case, people are still talking because the issues at the core of debates are still active in the minds of many. SB 1070 became a household term in many homes, not only in the U.S. Many people continue joining in the dialogue to support or oppose Arizona’s law, particularly this summer, as the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Arizona v. United States, “ruling that some aspects of the statute intended to deter unlawfully present aliens from remaining in the state were preempted by federal law, but also holding that Arizona police were not facially preempted from running immigration status checks on persons stopped for state or local offenses.[i]

In Arizona, CBS 5 AZ – KPHO reported: “SB 1070 decision sparks reaction from both sides”

Social media and the sharing of news stories is important to immigration debates. Love it or hate it, people shared this article on their Facebook pages that opens the floodgates of likes and dislikes of all the politicians and officials who had something to say.[ii]

“The Supreme Court’s decision today regarding SB 1070 is a mixed bag at best. But one thing is certain: with its efforts suing Arizona, the Obama Administration has focused time and resources that could have been better spent securing the border.”

– U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-AZ

“The Supreme Court announced a major decision that will affect people in our state and across the country. It’s important to note that today is not about winning. Today is about changing the way we approach immigration reform. Divisive policies and patchwork processes do nothing to solve the immigration issue. Even worse, such practices take focus away from other issues important to Arizona families, like education and job creation. We must have clear, rational and substantive immigration reform that provides law enforcement officers with the resources they need to do their jobs. Then and only then, can we truly call it a win.”

– Rep. Lynne Pancrazi, D-Yuma

The Law Office of KiKi M. Mosley works hard to help educate clients, colleagues and friends about the compelling issues in immigration, including debates on immigration reform. Feel free to share our blog and to comment and join in the conversation on our blog and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


[i] CRS Report for Congress, Prepared for Members of Committees of Congress, Arizona v. United States: A limited Role for States in Immigration Enforcement