Advocates step up efforts to secure driver's licenses for undocumented PA residents
Members of the advocacy group Luchas Pro Licencias PA recently met with Rep. Mark Cohen, the sponsor of HB 1450, which allows Pennsylvania residents to apply for a driver's license if they have an ITIN (a federal taxpayer identification number).
The bill was referred to the Transportation Committee of the House July 16, and Cohen has added a memo to it stipulating:
"Like in many other states, undocumented Pennsylvanians contribute positively and critically to our state, namely in our agricultural, cultural, and small business sectors. However, these community members make these and many other contributions without equal protections and basic rights for their families, such as the ability to safely travel for purposes of accessing education, employment, and commerce. This situation leaves many undocumented residents easily exploitable, isolated and marginalized. Driver’s licenses for undocumented Pennsylvanians is a step towards residents being able to travel safely, provide for their families and live a dignified existence in our state."This initiative to provide driver licensing for undocumented individuals is a public safety measure. Requiring all Pennsylvania drivers to pass a driver’s test will reduce accidents, make roads safer, and protect all Pennsylvanians from preventable injury and financial loss. Individuals with valid identification and a drivers license will be more inclined to cooperate with law enforcement by reporting accidents or helping to solve crimes."