Sen. Markley Opposes Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Residents

June 3, 2013

Hartford, CT – After a lengthy late-night debate, State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) cast his vote against House Bill 6495, a bill which would enable people in the United States illegally to obtain Connecticut driver’s licenses.

“I oppose this because I believe in the essential importance of citizenship. There is no other ground on which we can meet. As citizens, we are equal: standing on the same principles, devoted to the same flag, subject to the same laws, entitled to the same rights,” Sen. Markley said on the Senate floor. “We must prize that notion of citizenship, and we must not promulgate a set of laws that creates a substratum, a second class of citizens.”

Sen. Markley believes if the state continues to treat the symptoms of the immigration problem—as this bill does—instead of applying the cure there will be failure.

“Citizenship is the cure: the only path that can make us whole as a society, equal as Americans, truly brothers and sisters,” added Sen. Markley.

While the bill states that the licenses cannot be used for federal identification purposes, such as boarding a plane, or as proof of identity to vote, the measure has raised concerns about voting, employment and benefits fraud.

“Colleagues have raised questions of identification and integrity of documents and the practical effects of the law, in cost and burden on DMV,” said Sen. Markley. “In addition, there is overwhelming opposition from the people, according to polls and judged by the weight of correspondence, I receive from my constituents.”

Markley, who taught citizenship classes for several years, believes this bill will divide the state and country moving forward.

“Extending privileges without granting rights aggravates an injustice. It will hurt the very people we intend this evening to help. It is wrong-headed, a mistake I will not support,” concluded Sen. Markley.

The bill passed despite unanimous Republican opposition. The Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing the driver’s licenses to undocumented residents beginning January 2015.

To view Sen. Markley’s full remarks from the senate floor please visit: