Background Checks Part of State Reforms for Illegal Immigration in Ariz., Utah

Arizona has been in the news recently for proposing several state bills that would restrict services and privileges for illegal immigrants, but other states are proposing similar measures as well. Utah and Florida have all proposed or enacted state laws requiring illegal immigrants to pass background checks before obtaining drivers’ licenses.

Arizona’s bills, although not in effect yet, have been proposed and need to go through the state Senate and House, according to The Arizona Republic. But several bills were preliminary approval yesterday and are on their way to becoming law. Although background checks are not part of all illegal immigration-related bills in Arizona, some of the proposed bills include:

• A bill that requires proof of legal status in order for illegal immigrants to receive public benefits.
• Senate Bill (SB) 1222 requires all public housing to operate to evict anyone who allows an illegal immigrant to live in his or her dwelling.
• SB 1012 states that the Arizona Department of Public Safety can only conduct fingerprint background checks on individuals who can prove they are U.S. citizens. These fingerprints will result in clearance cards, which will be required for work and permits.
• SB 1611 prevents illegal immigrants from attending school, owning or buying a car, and obtaining a marriage license.

Utah, on the other hand, has not gone as far as Arizona in setting standards for illegal immigrants. In Salt Lake City, specifically, illegal immigrants may need to pass background checks when applying for state privilege cards for driving. The bill, SB 138, also requires fingerprints and photographs. Before, illegal immigrants only needed to present a birth certificate, tax identification number, and proof of residence.

Although Utah’s and Florida’s stricter standards are necessary and were created in regards to training and auto insurance, Arizona’s goes too far and penalizes those who came to the United States for better education and work opportunities.