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Law to Give Illegal Immigrants Driver's Licenses Goes Into Effect

In order to get a license, a person who is in the country illegally must have paid Maryland taxes during the past two years or was claimed as a dependent of someone who did.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A new law takes effect Wednesday allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses in the State of Maryland.

In order to get a license, a person who is in the country illegally must have paid state taxes during the past two years or was claimed as a dependent of someone who did.

"First, I'm very disappointed that the law is actually going into effect. There was a group of us that fought very hard in Annapolis to make sure that this would not come to fruition based on what a lot of the national studies have shown, the regulations with the Real ID Act, and Homeland Security overall," said Del. Kelly Schulz (R - Frederick County).

The licenses will be a different color than regular Maryland driver's licenses.

"We talk about all the time of who's in our country legally and illegally," Schulz said. "Back in 2001 when we suffered the effects of September 11th, we realized what it was in order to have people in the country that we could not track down and that we didn't understand where they were from and where they were headed."

The Maryland General Assembly passed the law this year, but it didn't go over well with Western Maryland lawmakers.

"Those of us in Western Maryland are very interested in not only our national security on the national level but also our security here in the State of Maryland and what we can do in order to protect and provide resources for citizens that are here legally," Schulz said.

Out of Western Maryland's 18 lawmakers, only two voted for it. They are both Democrats: Sen. Ron Young (Frederick & Washington Counties) and Del. Galen Clagett (Frederick County).

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