Driving on the “path to citizenship”

I discover that Illinois and other states are allowing undocumented immigrants to drive cars legally.

Of course we can consider queer that this allowance comes before other more substantive right, but while pointing at it I want to underline some components of the debate. Only a comparison to the recent political situation can decide whether they are relevant or not.


First of all, this action casts light on another agent that is moving toward the widening of rights and citizenship between immigrants. In my previous post I noticed how the public opinion and the political leaders agree on a reform of the system, now we see that single states are already moving forward. The pressure is high and comes from different sides: once more, it proves that some fences are breaking or even falling. Organizations and institutions capable of becoming a holdout in phasing the changes between politicians and civil societies are playing their role staunchly.


Second, while I have to recognize, to chill the enthusiasm, that the terms of the debate don’t look much different from the last Reagan legislation on immigration, with some very important novelties, I also highlight that one proposal follows the other without any influential voice raising up against.

If the immigration reform firmly holds its position between what is considered politically commonsense, it will be more and more difficult to stop the drag at an advanced point. Whoever would dare to do it will own a clear and defined responsibility towards the electors, and first of all the Latinos. We are no longer talking of “one party is against, one is favorable”: in the Bush-era we had an attempt failed because of the internal divisions of the majority party, now it seems that some cautious views of a close party are overlapping the more progressive voices of the minority.


Third, to balance the global impression we can draw, the comments to this choice of the Illinois Government, and the number of people who silently approve them with Facebook, testify a presence of a harsh criticism. Probably it is not widespread, but nonetheless it is laud and goes on pointing out resolutely that these people are not “undocumented” but “illegal”.

Unfortunately, a law progress alone doesn’t provide an advancement in a society that appears divided in depth, even if not in width: that is, divided not between citizens and immigrants, but between the firsts ON the latter.


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