Undocumented immigrants living in Colorado will now be able to get a driver’s license following the passing of a bill by Governor John Hickenlooper yesterday. The bill sees the state added to the small but growing list of those that are offering legal methods in which illegal immigrants are able to make use of the roads.
The issue has been gaining momentum throughout 2013 so far, with Nevada and Oregon also having passed similar laws in the last few weeks, and the governor of Connecticut also being expected to sign off a measure that was approved by the lawmakers in that state last week.
Hickenlooper believes that the proposal is a step forward in terms of changing the immigration laws in the United States. “I’m not trying to tell Congress what form that takes, any of the details, but we are moving in that direction and this is something that’s a first step,” he says. The bill’s supporters insist that everyone who drives on the roads needs to be aware of the rules and also be insured in case of accident, regardless of their immigration status.
The new driver’s licenses will be clearly labeled to say that they cannot be used to vote, board a plane or obtain public benefits and are not for federal identification. However, Hickenlooper points out that immigrants need to have licenses that allow them to be able to get to work, be identified in accidents and obtain car insurance.