Rhode Island Senate evaluates granting driver’s licenses to the undocumented

Rhode Island Senate evaluates issuing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. “I think it has a good chance of becomin...

Compartir
Suscríbete
Suscribe our Newsletter
Recibe por email las noticias más destacadas
  • Rhode Island Senate evaluates issuing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
  • “I think it has a good chance of becoming law this year,” said the co-author of the project.
  • There are approximately 30,000 undocumented immigrants in Rhode Island.

Driver’s licenses for undocumented persons have been gaining support in states such as Rhode Island, where the Senate intends to vote on the bill on Thursday, which will then go to the state House of Representatives, where it has support, legislator José Batista told EFE.

“I think it has a good chance of becoming law this year,” said Rep. Batista, a co-author of the bill. The Senate has included the vote on its agenda for this Thursday, according to its press office, and it occurs after the Judiciary Committee approved the proposal on Monday.

Rhode Island undocumented license could be law this year

undocumented license rhode island
Photo: Getty

The project is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has told the legislature that “allowing people to obtain a license promotes safe driving as it will require them to pass a driving test and have insurance,” reported the Efe agency.

The ACLU added that “(Rhode Island undocumented licenses) will provide a means of identification for law enforcement and other purposes,” underscoring that 16 states have already taken that step, the most recent New Jersey, which began receiving applications for the cards last May.

30,000 undocumented immigrants in Rhode Island

undocumented license rhode island
Photo: Shutterstock

Organizations that support Rhode Island’s undocumented licensing proposal have cited several studies, including one from 2017 from Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University, which indicates that there are approximately 30,000 undocumented immigrants in that state.

“The states that issue driver’s licenses to the undocumented don’t see a massive influx of immigrants. In contrast, they have lower average car accident rates and lower average costs for auto insurance, ”the report states, according to the Providence Journal.

Massachusetts could take the step to benefit immigrants

undocumented license rhode island
Photo: Getty.

It also points out that poverty rates tend to decline at a faster rate in states that provide driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. Massachusetts, where a similar proposal has been unsuccessful for three years, is now also apparently close to finding the green light.

“This bill has a lot of momentum right now. We have much more support from the Legislature than ever, ”Democratic Representative Christine P. Barber, author of the bill, told the Boston Globe, who today faced a public hearing in the lower house.

Licensing of undocumented persons would improve road safety

undocumented license rhode island
Photo: Shutterstock

The support is the result of the continuous struggle of numerous immigrants, union leaders and organizations, who today went to the House of Representatives to reiterate that allowing undocumented people to obtain a license will improve road safety.

Under the bill, immigrants must meet all other existing licensing requirements and show proof of identity, date of birth and Massachusetts residence to obtain a license, the Boston Globe further notes. According to a 2020 report from the Massachusetts Center for Policy and Budget, between 43,000 and 78,000 undocumented immigrants would be licensed within the first three years of the law going into effect.

Know the requirements to access a driver’s license in New Jersey if you are undocumented

undocumented license rhode island
Photo: Getty

Since last month, almost half a million undocumented people in New Jersey can finally request their driver’s license, a document that will open the door to other important procedures such as a bank account or even the rental of a home, reported the Efe agency.

Under the new law, which came into force on May 1 and after more than a year of being approved, even those who recently got out of prison are covered. With the expansion of the scope of the vehicle law, which is estimated to benefit almost 750,000 residents, including more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants.

What documents does someone without papers need to get a license?

driver's license new jersey
Photo: Shutterstock

New Jersey joins more than a dozen states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in taking similar action. But what are the requirements? The residents state residents must provide proof of address and age in order to apply for a New Jersey driver’s license.

Also their Social Security number and, in the case of immigrants without legal status but who pay taxes, they must present their Personal Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Those who do not have ITINs had to wait until June 1

driver's license new jersey
Photo: Getty

This group was the first to start their procedures to apply for their license and as of June 1, those who do not have their ITIN could do so, for which they are required to have an affidavit as to why they do not have that number.

They must complete the document to request the license as well as an appointment with the Motor Vehicle Commission, take the written and practical knowledge exam.

Procedure and costs

Photo: Getty.

Those interested in obtaining a driver’s license in New Jersey can go to the government agency’s website for more information. Make CLICK HERE to access the state portal.

To apply for your license, you must accumulate 6 points through the documents required by the Motor Vehicle Commission in a process that will cost you $ 24.

No information will be shared with ICE

Photo: Getty.

As has happened in other states, a primary concern of the immigrant community is that the information they give to the state vehicle agency is not shared with federal agencies, particularly Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

State authorities will not share the information included in driver’s licenses to federal agencies, unless determined in particular cases by the order of a judge.

Activists criticize the agency’s management

driver's license new jersey
Photo: Shutterstock

Some activist groups have indicated that the agency was not prepared to serve this population in which it is a different process, despite the fact that they had warned that Motor Vehicle personnel should receive the proper training.

They emphasize that the agency’s job is to ensure that its staff is ready for the new law to come into force, and they consider that an intense orientation campaign should have been carried out.

Disappointed with the process

Photo: Getty.

Since May 1, many undocumented immigrants went to DMV offices to apply for a New Jersey driver’s license but had to return home disappointed when they were rejected. The cause they received was that their ITIN issued by the IRS was supposedly invalid and they have hundreds of thousands of undocumented people to pay their taxes.

“Saturday was a disaster,” a Peruvian immigrant who preferred not to reveal her name told Efe and felt “disappointed” when her IRS document was rejected despite the fact that it was recently renewed. “I tried to explain to him that the ITIN was fine, I gave him the paper that I renewed it in December, I showed him the document that I filled out the taxes with that number and he did not want to listen,” he said and recalled that the employee asked him to call IRS to have his number changed, after which the documents were returned to him.

“A lot of people went through the same thing”

Photo: Twitter.

According to the immigrant, her disappointment was so great that she thought that requesting the card was a “lie from the Government to only get us excited and, just like I who left disappointed, many people went through the same thing.”

“You are so excited waiting for this day to come for so long for these inconveniences to pass. It is a terrible disappointment ”, affirmed the woman, who assured that the employees were not prepared with respect to this new law. In 2019, after nearly two decades of struggle, the bill that extended driver’s licenses to undocumented people in this state was signed into law, which could benefit almost 750,000 residents, including more than 400,000 undocumented immigrants.

Undocumented people have suffered insults when applying for their driver’s license

driver's license new jersey
Photo: Twitter

“Many people were going in and out” on Saturday from the Motor Vehicles office in Freehold, in Monmouth County, without being able to start the process because their documents were rejected and without an explanation, this Peruvian mother also told Efe, who finally He was able to submit his application on Monday.

Jaime, who has paid his taxes with his ITIN number for 15 years, assured that he was disrespected when one of the employees yelled at him incessantly that he is an “illegal” immigrant and that he could not obtain a license. He recalled that the employee who attended him: “She was very spoiled and began to yell at me to show her my Social Security number. I told him that I had gone to apply for my license and that he had my ITIN number and he told me that it did not work ”.

The post Rhode Island Senate evaluates driver’s licenses for the undocumented appeared first on Hispanic World.

.