Should States Provide Access to Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants?

Should States Provide Access to Driver’s Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants?

Arguments in support of and against providing licenses to undocumented residents

Last month, the immigration spotlight was briefly on several county clerks in the state of New York. These clerks demonstrated their opposition to a change in the law that allows undocumented residents to apply for and obtain a driver’s license. Said one of these clerks: “If you come into my facility and you have done something illegal, it is my obligation to report you to the appropriate authorities, whether you’re a citizen or not.” In this post, I will look the arguments for and against providing licenses to undocumented residents.

Currently, 14 states including  California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington—issue a license if an applicant provides certain documentation such as a foreign birth certificate. Several other states are debating whether or not to change their laws to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Arguments in Support of Providing Licenses to Undocumented Residents

Proponents of this policy argue that allowing undocumented resident to obtain driver’s licenses will lead to increased revenue for the Department of Motor Vehicles in the statures that have instituted this change in the law. These revues come in the way of taxes – which every motorist is familiar with – and aid in the building and maintenance of roads and other infrastructure. Next, proponents argue that the law will decrease the number of unlicensed drivers on the road. Moreover, because undocumented residents have to go through the same training that native born residents do, they will be better trained in the rules and regulations of the road. Finally, some proponents of the policy argue that it will lead to normalized relations between the police and immigrant communities.

Arguments against Providing Licenses to Undocumented Residents

On the other hand, opponents of the policy assert that it could lead to increased voter fraud, ID fraud and even bank fraud. Further, they argue that granting licenses to undocumented residents takes away their incentive to follow immigration laws.

There are few issues surrounding the topic of immigration that don’t’ not spark fierce debate. It has become the issue of our times. However, the ability to obtain a license affects a person’s job opportunities and a person’s ability to perform all kinds of tasks that are an essential part of life. I am attorney Erika Roman. I can help you by reviewing your case and answering any immigration related matters you have. I provide and effective immigration defense in Van Nuys and am ready to be your advocate.

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