An estimated 4.5 million undocumented immigrants nationwide are driving regularly, most without licenses. In 2019, legislators in several states introduced legislation to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented residents including Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Legislation in New York passed in the State Assembly and is now in the State Senate. At the moment only twelve states issuing licenses without proof of legal residence in the United states; those states being: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Vermont and Washington.
It is our understanding that State Representative Chris Campbell, who represents a large portion of Lafayette/West Lafayette, will be authoring legislation that will allow persons residing in Indiana, who do not possess the necessary immigration documents to otherwise qualify for a standard drivers’ license, to receive a driver’s card
Many states have adopted tough new laws to prevent illegal immigrants from driving, while expanding immigration enforcement by state and local police. The Department of Homeland Security figures show that at least 30,000 undocumented immigrants who were stopped for common traffic violations in the last three years have ended facing deportation. The numbers are rapidly increasing, and as a result are aggravating tensions in the national debate over immigration.
What has been asked of Indiana, multiple times, is for the state to approve a permit for undocumented residents. This permit would allow individuals to fearlessly travel to work, take their children to school, and to give them a peace of mind. In this day and age it is difficult to live depending on public transportation. The permit being discussed would provide reliable transportation to undocumented residents. Sadly, time and time again that legislation establishing a permit for undocumented residents to drive has been proposed it has quickly been rejected.