CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is beginning to let immigrants apply for a driver's license if they're living in the U.S. illegally.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports appointments begin Tuesday for people to take license tests at two locations - one in Chicago and one in Springfield.
Four locations will offer the license exams by the end of the month. And about three dozen will offer the exams in January.
So far, more than 5,500 people have scheduled appointments.
The licenses are valid for three years and may be used only for driving. They can't be used as identification for activities like boarding a plane, voting or buying a firearm.
Supporters say the law will save Illinois motorists money and make roads safer. But critics say there's a potential for identity fraud.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ranchers, deputies and lawmakers from states along the U.S.-Mexico border have long pleaded for federal help, saying their areas were overrun by people entering the country illegally and armed smugglers.
But today there is growing opposition along the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to more agents and fences.
The Border Mayors Association says hours-long waits at crossings have cost the region billions by deterring Mexican shoppers and delaying U.S. shipments.
Border mayors favor expanding "trusted traveler" programs that give passes to pre-vetted crossers, digital fingerprinting and other technology to make ports of entry more secure.
Congress hasn't addressed those ideas.
A far-reaching immigration bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate in June calls for an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and 700 miles of fencing.
The Republican-controlled House favors tackling immigration with single-issue bills, starting with border security.
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is continuing his drum beat for immigration reform, saying he hopes the House of Representatives will take action this year on legislation passed by the Senate.
The Illinois Democrat said in a round-table discussion in Wheaton on Monday he hopes to show House Republicans there is "a diverse level of support" for fixing the nation's "broken" immigration system.
The round-table, which took place in the district of Republican Congressman Peter Roskam, included business, health, religious and community leaders.
Durbin is one of the sponsors of legislation approved by the Senate that would provide a path to citizenship for immigrants who came to the country unlawfully. The bill also would expand access to visas for workers and graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate has passed a historic immigration bill. The vote on the bipartisan measure -- crafted by a group of lawmakers known as the Gang of Eight, was 68-32. It now goes to the House.
The legislation offers the hope of American citizenship to millions, while promising a military-style surge to secure the border.
The vote was far more than the majority needed to send the measure to the House. Prospects there are not nearly as good and many conservatives are opposed.
Vice President Joe Biden presided, and senators cast their votes from their desks, both steps reserved for momentous votes. The bill, a priority for President Barack Obama, would amount to the most sweeping changes in decades to the nation's immigration laws.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis lags behind many other metropolitan areas in attracting immigrants. A new effort is underway to change that.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project was formally launched Thursday. The ambitious goal is to make the St. Louis region the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. for immigration growth by 2020.
St. Louis is the nation's 19th largest metropolitan area but immigrants make up just 4.5 percent of the region's population, which ranks 43rd.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project hopes to draw more immigrants through several outreach efforts, including a website that will offer 10 links for people of different nationalities
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio says a proposed immigration bill expected to be introduced this week won't offer amnesty to those who entered the U.S. illegally.
The Florida Republican, who appeared on five news shows Sunday, says "there will be consequences for having violated the laws."
Rubio's proposal would require people to pass a "rigorous background check" and pay fines and application fees to receive a permit that would allow them to "work, travel and pay taxes." After 10 years they would be able to apply for legal immigration status and an eventual path to citizenship.
Under the proposal, the applicants would not be eligible for any federal benefits such as health care.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of the lawmakers negotiating an immigration overhaul in Congress say a final deal is at hand but caution that the bipartisan group working on a proposal hasn't finished its work.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona said on Sunday that organized labor and the business leaders have reached an agreement on immigration. But they both told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the so-called Gang of Eight senators hasn't yet signed-off on final legislative language.
Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, is also part of the bipartisan group working on an immigration deal. After reports emerged on Saturday that the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce agreed on a deal, Rubio issued a statement calling a compromise "premature."
That draft, according to USA Today, would create a visa for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years.
Obama aide Denis McDonough tells ABC's "This Week" that the White House is working with a bipartisan group of senators.
GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says if such a measure was proposed, it would be "dead on arrival" in Congress.
McDonough says "let's make sure that it doesn't have to be proposed" because the White House and Congress are able to work out a deal.