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updated: 1/7/2013 1:41 PM

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauds House action on licenses

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is praising a House committee's action to develop a program allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

The Democrat says the proposal would make Chicago and Illinois "more welcoming to immigrants."

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A House transportation committee moved legislation to the floor Monday. It would allow illegal immigrants to get temporary licenses if they are trained and show year-long Illinois residency.

Emanuel says roads would be safer with trained, tested and insured drivers.

The licenses could not be used for identification or for law enforcement to target illegal immigrants for deportation.

Emanuel says the proposal would help "recent immigrants step out of the shadows" and be in a better position to contribute to communities and the economy.

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