State Senator Jose Peralta introduced legislation to provide undocumented immigrant New Yorkers access to driver’s licenses. He said that, if enacted, the bill will bring the undocumented into the economic mainstream and improve safety on New York roads.
In introducing the bill, Sen. Peralta noted that unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and that uninsured drivers are far more likely to flee the scene of an accident. He added that undocumented immigrants are disproportionately victims of exploitation and fraud.
“A driver’s license will provide undocumented immigrants much more employment flexibility,” Sen. Peralta said. “In moving out of the shadows and into the economic mainstream, they will be less isolated and less vulnerable to predators and their scams. This legislation will also help make all New Yorkers safer by allowing us to identify everyone who drives on our roads and ensure that they are properly credentialed, educated and operating registered, inspected and insured vehicles.”
Sen. Peralta’s bill will permit the state Department of Motor Vehicles to issue licenses to undocumented immigrants able to provide non-U.S. identification, prove residence in the state and demonstrate they have not been convicted of a felony crime.
The senate sponsor of the state DREAM Act, Sen. Peralta said he is looking forward to the development during the upcoming legislative session of “a bipartisan response” to the question of integrating New Americans and giving them a chance to succeed and realize the American Dream.
Eleven states already allow undocumented immigrants to secure a driver’s license.
Nueva York – Cuando parecía olvidada, la propuesta de ley para que inmigrantes indocumentados soliciten licencias de conducir sumó el respaldo de la organización Transportation Alternatives, que promueve el uso del transporte público, y The Worker's Justice Center of NY, entidad pro trabajadores agrícolas del norte del estado.
El apoyo de esta última es clave por el área donde opera ya que puede sumar el respaldo de residentes y legisladores de Albany, Kingston y Rochester.
El senador José Peralta (D-Queens) argumenta que su propuesta de licencia para indocumentados aborda dos asuntos críticos, "oportunidad económica y seguridad en las calles, y por eso el apoyo a esta legislación seguirá creciendo".
Sin embargo, hasta ahora ese no ha sido el caso. Las dos principales legislaciones migratorias presentadas, el Dream Act y las licencias para indocumentados, se han estancado en la legislatura a pesar que Nueva York es un estado demócrata y progresista.
Ambas propuestas han sido introducidas más de una vez pero según expertos, ni los políticos ni los activistas han sabido articular su importancia económica.
Saying it would increase traffic safety, a leading anti-car organization has thrown its support behind a bill to allow illegal immigrants in New York to get driver's licenses.
"Non-citizen drivers with verifiable, reliable forms of identification could then by tested on New York’s rules of the road, and be required to obtain auto insurance coverage, have their car inspected and maintain their vehicle’s registration," the non-profit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives wrote in memo in support of the bill.
Transportation Alternatives estimates that "tens of thousands" of illegal immigrants are driving without licenses on the streets of New York.
"Because these drivers are not subject to the same training and accountability standards as other drivers, they pose a significant public safety threat," the memo says. "Unlicensed drives are dangerous."
The memo cites a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study that found unlicensed drives five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of an accident.
Eleven states in the U.S., including California, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland, allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses.
Peralta called the support from Transportation Alternatives and the Worker Justice Center For New York "significant."
It took me just an hour and a half to get a fake ID in New York City’s ground zero for the fraudulent document business — Roosevelt Ave. in Queens.
The Jackson Heights neighborhood is the epicenter of fake paper mills — rackets that fuel teenage drinking and identity theft and also create fake green cards and passports that can pose a serious security threat.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Queens), whose district includes the Roosevelt Ave. area, is reintroducing legislation to crack down on the flourishing illegal industry.