Driver’s Licenses for All Would Better Many Lives, Including Mine

April 30, 2018. In this op-ed by Jorge Cotraro, an undocumented immigrant living on Long Island, discusses his constant fear of driving to do daily activities, such as driving to work. He is in fear of being pulled over for a traffic violation that turns into a deportation case, which would tear him apart from his wife and kids. He cites FPI’s 2017 report, Expanding Access to Driver’s Licenses. He argues that passing a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses would change many immigrants’ lives for the better and that it is important given the current political climate surrounding immigration.

Every morning, I drive with my wife to work. My commute is the scariest part of my day – and not because of the traffic. It’s because I know that a routine traffic stop could lead to me being separated from my family forever.

This bill would change my life, and my family’s too. I have lived in the United States for nearly 20 years and I wish I could be eligible to adjust my immigration status, but at the moment due to our current broken immigration system, that is not possible. There is no clear path for me to be able to adjust my immigration status, but other measures can be helpful to me and others like me.

Expanding access to driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers makes sense. If it passes, immigrants will be able to register, and insure their vehicles in New York, creating an economic boost. A 2017 analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute determined that New York would receive an estimated $57 million in combined annual revenue​.

Here is the link to the Gotham Gazette.

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