A bill aimed at repealing undocumented immigrants' driving privilege cards was approved by the Utah House of Representatives today in a 39-35 vote.
Rep. Glenn Donnelson, R-North Ogden, said he's sponsoring HB237 because the cards that allow undocumented immigrants drive legally aren't as secure as driver licenses and they attract undocumented immigrants to Utah.
The driving privilege card, he said, "undermines federal efforts to enforce federal immigration laws."
Opponents hinted at support for a separate measure which was approved in committee today, HB 171. That bill would revoke the cards held by uninsured drivers and would prevent the cards from being used for identification purposes. A recent legislative audit found 76 percent of driving privilege card holders were insured.
Pointing to that insurance rate, Rep. Steven Mascaro, R-West Valley, called the proposed repeal "a giant step backward."
But Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, said drivers with licenses issued in other countries can get insured, though often at a higher premium.
"We do not need a driving privilege card to give insurance," he said. "There is a good reason why other states are dropping (undocumented immigrants') driving privilege cards and driver licenses."
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.