SALEM -- Oregon legislators have begun hearing public testimony on a proposal that would grant short-term driver's licenses to people who live in the country illegally.

The Senate Business and Transportation Committee on Thursday drew a large crowd to testify on Senate Bill 833.

Under the bill, immigrants who have lived in Oregon for at least a year and meet other requirements would be eligible for four-year driver's licenses without proving U.S. citizenship.

The license could not be used to vote, board a plane or purchase a firearm. Supporters have said the proposal would make Oregon roads safer, because there would be fewer uninsured and untrained drivers.

Critics say the bill would encourage more people to come to the state illegally, and that states should wait for federal immigration reform.

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