How Driver’s Licenses Can Help Undocumented Immigrants

Should an undocumented immigrant be able to obtain a driver's license? One state just passed legislation that gives them that right. Brut spoke to the bill's sponsor about how this move will help families. 🚗

Solutions through identification

Undocumented immigrants can now obtain a driver’s licenses in New York state. The bill’s sponsor says the legislation was a no brainer. Undocumented immigrants were previously allowed to obtain licenses before an early 2000s regulatory change revoked that privilege. For Crespo, providing so many with this opportunity to live outside of the shadows is personal.
Leading the fight for your rights is Democratic member of the New York State Assembly Marcos Crespo representing the 85th Assembly District, which includes the Soundview, Clason Point, Longwood, and Hunts Point sections of the South Bronx. Born in Guayama, Puerto Rico, Marco Crespo and his family moved to New York City when he was a young child.

“I was born in Puerto Rico, makes me a citizen by birth, but my father was an undocumented immigrant from Peru. He always had a driver's license and my father contributed economically as a small independent contractor. I realized that I was privileged, and I never had to fear as this generation's immigrant families do that my father could be pulled over for a traffic infraction and deported separated from his family. We've seen countless examples of that taking place across the country especially in this political climate. And we wanted to make sure that immigrants in the state of New York know that we stand by them. I believe that this sends a national message that we need to do more to respond to this anti immigrants furor coming from Washington D.C.”

Crespo was first elected to the State Assembly in a June 2009 special election to replace Rubén Díaz Jr., who became Bronx Borough President in 2009. Nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants live in New York state according to the Migration Policy. Crespo hopes the passage of the bill sends a message on how to lead on immigration reform.