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Driver's Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Urged

Posted March 28, 2007

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— A Latino advocacy group has called on state lawmakers to ease the requirements that immigrants have to meet to obtain a driver's license, saying it would make the roads safer.

One of the main thrusts of El Pueblo's legislative agenda is to ensure all drivers on North Carolina roads are properly trained, licensed and insured, regardless of immigration status.

"What we are interested in is having driver's licenses (serve as) some kind of identity document that is safe, that is valid, that allows people to be insured on our roads," said Marisol Jimenez, advocacy director for El Pueblo.

State law requires people applying for driver's licenses to show a valid Social Security card or visa.

Jimenez said the rule affects more than 100,000 people—not just Hispanics—who are driving illegally in North Carolina.

Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said giving licenses to illegal immigrants isn't an idea that will go far in the state.

"The constituents I represent, and a vast majority of North Carolinians, would think, if someone is here illegally, they should not have a license at all," said Berger, R-Rockingham. "The state of North Carolina should not impact policies that encourage more and more people to come here."

Both Jimenez and Berger said the state's immigration problems are the results of federal policy. North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing illegal populations in the U.S.

"Thousands and thousands of people ... are going to continue living in this state until we can fix a broken immigration system," Jimenez said.

"I call on our congressmen to do something about this situation when we've got a flood of people coming into this country illegally," Berger said.

El Pueblo's legislative agenda also calls for providing all North Carolina students, including illegal immigrants, access to in-state tuition at University of North Carolina system campuses. A similar proposal failed during last year's legislative session.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • der_Marv_meister Apr 2, 2007

    To Abby2299
    Come on, get real.
    A) The reason why we hear less about Cuban refugees is because they are refugees from a communist country, an enemy to us and our way of life.
    Mexico is neither.

    I think those people risk their lives crossing the border do so because they have a better chance of success in elluding the law here and making money to send back to Mexico than staying in Mexico and be unemployed. THAT is their chief reasoning!

    A NC drivers License is very easy to come by, but you are crazy if you think this is the only way "we" keep track of illegals. Part of the illegal problem is that we CAN'T keep track of 'em all because they stay below the radar.
    The use invalid of fake SS#'s (or someone elses) to get ID's, just as they do with cars. How many of the illegals who wreck their cars are really their cars versus someone elses?

    Abby, keep living in your little dream world if you choose. Otherwise, do your research and open your eyes!

  • Wildman Mar 31, 2007

    here's an idea!

    go home and get all your legal documents there...stop mooching off of our system and economy

  • Diva Mar 30, 2007

    El Pueblo's Corporate Sponsors are: Suntrust, BB&T, Pepsi, Lowe's... http://www.elpueblo.org/english/donors/sponsors.html

  • Heelzrule Mar 30, 2007

    there are so many US citizens that need our financial assistance! If we do not stop such mess as this - we (Legal citizens) will very soon become the minority and be left without any benefits at all. WRITE TO YOUR NC LEGISLATION!!! STOP THIS MADNESS!!!!

  • Heelzrule Mar 30, 2007

    friend, please EMAIL YOUR LEGISLATORS and DEMAND that this be squashed! Im sick to death of these folks saying that illegals have certain rights! Other than the right to be treated humanely - they have no other rights! GET"EM out of here!!!!!!!

  • wynnwilson Mar 30, 2007

    Our roads will be safer when ALL of the Illegals' are rounded up and sent back to wherever they came from !

    All crime in NC will take a nose dive when that happens !

  • chill0913 Mar 29, 2007

    Sorry hit wrong key...Our police dept and INS does not have the manpower to tack all these illegals down..Thats a fact. So here is an idea...If you entered illegally and continue to break the law by DWIs, raping, murdering, and etc...then you need to serve time in our justice system...so you don't get away with it without any penalty..then be deported back to your homeland. However, most illegal immigrants come here only to support their families as we all want to do...should the be forgiven for breaking our law...NO! Fine them...allow them the opportunity to obtain legal status wants the fines are paid and make it mandatory to learn our language and laws...once these things have been accomplished then and only them allow them legal residency..not necessarily citizenship...but able to legally pay taxes, and obtain identification where nobody gets hurt. Just my opinion and I'm sure I'll get bashed for it.

  • huntleyperez Mar 29, 2007

    handfuls of work visa's.....please thousands of visa's and green cards and etc. are given....but do you want scientists, Drs, the brightest and best other countries have to offer to enrich your country and cure deadly diseases and childern's ills or do you think your "handful of visa's" of the poorest that other countries want to unload will improve your life..because whether everyone realizes it...we are sucking our resources dry here in the USA on every level.....

  • NCGal Mar 29, 2007

    "If El Pueblo is that concerned about illegals not being able to get car insurance, then why not use the money they spend on lobbying and put it towards paying the medical and car repair expenses that result from illegal immigrants causing wrecks?"


  • idontwantascreenname Mar 29, 2007

    Do ANY of you think that these people would risk their lives crossing a desert to get here and when they do they must live in fear of being caught, if they could get here any other way. Mexicans are held to a different standard.....they only give out a handful of work visas a year, you have about the same chance of winning the lottery. Sooooo all of you want to keep them from driving, but I ask this.....what will you do when the ONLY way of keeping track of them has been taken away.

    I wonder why no-one here ever complaines about the real strain on the USA....cubans.....they hit land, and unlike mexicans, they can stay and we will give them anything they want.