Bill Making Driver's License Exams English-Only Advances

Nashville (AP) -- A Tennessee legislative bill aimed at fighting illegal immigration by requiring all written driver's license examinations in Tennessee be given in English is advancing. It passed the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday.

Sponsor Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro calls it, "the first step in protecting the sovereignty of our country."

The Republican lawmaker acknowledged his legislation has been heavily scrutinized, with many calling it discriminatory. Ketron passed a similar bill in the Senate last year, but it failed in the House.

He said English-only examinations are needed because even though some immigrants may recognize the shape of road signs, they can't read the words on them.

At least 53 bills relating to illegal immigration have been filed between the House and Senate. Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has said he expects several immigration-related bills to pass this session, including Ketron's legislation.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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