Thousands Attend Hearing On Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Residents
About 120,000 unauthorized immigrants in Connecticut.
A huge crowd turned out last night for a transportation committee public hearing in New Haven. People testified in support of proposals to allow undocumented residents in Connecticut to obtain driver’s licenses.
Close to 2,000 people crowded into Wilbur Cross High School. Angela Munoz of Bridgeport says she’s been driving for ten years without a license.
"I want my driver’s license. Because I need it for pick up my children. And I need my car for my job, too."
She says her children live in fear that she’ll be arrested.
Jeimy Sepeda of East Haven says many immigrants on the roads have no drivers training and can’t purchase car insurance. Sepeda was in an accident with an unlicensed, uninsured driver.
"Me and my husband has a accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance. We have a small business and that makes us stay back for several days."
State Senator Martin Looney told the committee that there are approximately 120,000 unauthorized immigrants in Connecticut.
"Whatever may be your view on federal immigration policy going forward, these individuals are residents of our communities and the question we need to answer is what policies regarding these residents will best serve the goals of enhance public safety and sound public policy."
New Mexico, Washington and Illinois have passed laws requiring immigrant drivers to get driver’s licenses.
Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Melody Currey said if Connecticut were to pass legislation similar to Illinois, it could be, in her words, “workable”.
Though no one spoke out against the idea Monday, opponents argue it could lead to fraud.
For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.