Posted on February 14, 2019

NYC Pushes to Get Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Henry Rosoff, WPIX-TV, February 13, 2019

An estimated 570,000 undocumented immigrants are currently living in New York State — the majority in New York City — may soon be eligible for driver’s licenses.

Rallying on the steps of City Hall, elected leaders and advocates are pushing for all immigrants regardless of legal status to be granted the privilege.

“The one thing we are hearing from our immigrant communities from Brentwood to Buffalo is drivers licenses are the single biggest issue,” said Steven Choi with the New York Immigration Coalition.

The city council Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution encouraging state lawmakers to make licenses happen.

During a council hearing, testimony showed undocumented workers already contributing a billion dollars to the state economy. {snip}

Immigrants themselves testified that having nobody with a license in their family keeps them in the shadows, and can even put their lives at risk during medical emergencies.


However, not all New York drivers agree with the policy. They are raising concerns about cost, language barrier, fraud and safety.

Holding up his driver’s license at the rally, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is the main sponsor of the driver’s license resolution, disputes that claim.

Rodriguez points to the fact that going through the licensing process and learning the local laws will improve safety on the roadways.