Advocates note benefits of driver’s licenses for undocumented residents

April 23, 2019. This article covers a forum held on April 23 at Hofstra University where immigrant rights advocates discussed the impacts of allowing all residents, regardless of immigration status, to apply for driver’s licenses. Known as Green Light New York, the speakers outlined the measure as both a moral imperative and smart economic policy.

Jonas Shaende, chief economist for the Institute, said the measure would generate $57 million in annual revenue for the state, while local governments on Long Island would see $2.6 million per year in additional sales taxes and vehicle use tax fees.

The measure, he said, would also improve safety by ensuring that many undocumented immigrants already on the road are properly trained, tested and fully insured.

“Once people are not living and driving in fear, they act like normal people; they act responsibly,” Shaende said. “And if you have policies of suppression and fear, then, of course, they will act in ways that are shortsighted and harmful.”

Read the article.

Read FPI’s report. 

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