Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration is drawing up plans for a two-tiered licensing system that would issue different driver’s licenses to undocumented aliens and legal residents.
Maryland is currently one of eight states that permit illegal immigrants to get licenses.
Under the new system, undocumented immigrants would have to prove only that they live in Maryland, but they would not be able to use their licenses to board airplanes, enter federal buildings or cross borders, the Washington Post reports.
Maryland Senate Minority Leaders David Brinkley, a Republican, is critical of the plan backed by the Democratic administration.
“The state is endorsing people to skirt the law,” he said. “Then Maryland becomes a haven for people that are here illegally.”
As other states, including neighboring Virginia, have tightened requirements for documentation in obtaining a license, Maryland has seen an increase in demand for driver’s licenses from foreign-born individuals, according to the Post.
The two-tiered system is similar to one proposed earlier by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in New York, which does not allow illegal immigrants to obtain licenses. He was forced to abandon the plan in the face of political opposition, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was criticized for saying it was a good idea.
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