Reports Support Licenses for Undocumented Drivers
Thursday, February 2, 2017
NEW YORK — Issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants would expand opportunities, bring in revenue and increase public safety, according to a pair of new reports.
The reports, from the Fiscal Policy Institute and the New York City Comptroller, said that about 265,000 undocumented immigrants in New York would obtain driver's licenses if access was open to everyone. That would bring in almost $60 million a year for state, county and city coffers. And it would mean that those currently driving without a license could buy insurance - which would lower rates for everyone.
Charlotte Gossett Navarro, regional outreach manager with the New York Immigration Coalition, said it would make undocumented drivers safer.
"Being pulled over without a license could potentially lead to being arrested; and that arrest, we have seen, has led to detention and deportation,” Gusset Navarro said.
The coalition has joined with elected officials to launch a new campaign called "Green Light NY: Driving Together,” focused on increasing access to driver's licenses for all New Yorkers.
A dozen states, including California, already issue licenses to undocumented individuals. Gossett Navarro points out that those licenses don't meet the requirements of the federal Real ID Act.
"These limited-purpose drivers licenses will not allow somebody to fly, they will not allow somebody to enter a federal building, and they will have listed on the front that it's not for federal purposes,” she said.
But the licenses can be issued to anyone, regardless of immigration status, so possession of one will not identify the holder as undocumented.
A number of New York towns and cities have passed resolutions calling on the state to expand access to driver's licenses, Gossett Navarro said.
"They have the support, in many cases, of their police departments saying that this will increase public safety,” she said. "This is something that they recognize will really benefit their community."
She said she hopes that Gov. Andrew Cuomo - who has been outspoken in his defense of undocumented New Yorkers - will add his support to the effort.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
California's medical aid-in-dying law is back in court. Three patients with disabilities and two doctors are asking to intervene in a lawsuit …
A new federal jobs program aims to mobilize tens of thousands of young Americans to address the growing threats of climate change. The American …
Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago says its student body and campus are growing - and so are its options for people to study in STEM fields…
Health and Wellness
By Nathalia Teixeira for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration…
Maine's new Office of Affordable Health Care holds its first public hearing this week, and people are being strongly encouraged to participate…
The number of children locked behind bars in Alabama has declined, but their advocates said more needs to be done to create alternatives to …
This coming Saturday, North Dakotans will get a chance to see how election workers go to great lengths to ensure a safe and secure voting process…
Scientists at Purdue University have been experimenting to create adhesives designed to be easier on the environment. So many products from …