FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For interviews and press inquiries:
Nicole Kligerman, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Bill to Allow Undocumented Pennsylvanians Access to Driver’s Licenses Introduced in the House of Representatives
Pennsylvania would become 12th state to give licenses to undocumented immigrants
Pennsylvania – On Friday, July 10, Representative Mark Cohen (D) introduced legislation into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would expand driver’s license eligibility to include undocumented Pennsylvanians. House Bill 1450 was introduced with twenty legislative co-sponsors and positions Pennsylvania to become the twelfth state to give licenses to undocumented immigrants.
“I think this is another step forward to bring undocumented people onto a path to citizenship. It is my hope that the House and Senate give this proposal the consideration it deserves,” said Representative Cohen.
The introduction of HB1450 comes weeks after a series of successful public vigils in Harrisburg, Reading, Philadelphia and York in asking the state to extend access to driver’s licenses to undocumented Pennsylvanians.
“An enormous goal of the immigrant community is getting a driver’s license,” said Maria Turcios, a community organizer at New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and an immigrant from Honduras who has lived in Pennsylvania for over twenty years. “We’re going to keep fighting until we achieve this goal.”
The introduction also follows the publication of a report by the Temple University Beasley School of Law’s Sheller Center for Social Justice that outlines widespread benefits of such a law. A direct link to the report can be found here: http://www2.law.temple.edu/csj/files/fdl.pdf
There are approximately 200,000 undocumented people in Pennsylvania who face the consequences of driving without a license and not having a valid form of identification on a daily basis. Such consequences include difficulty getting to work, school, hospitals, and even deportation.
The Alianza Pro Licencias PA (Alliance for Licenses PA), a coalition of community based groups championing the bill, celebrates the introduction of HB1450 and looks forward to working with the Transportation Committee in the House of Representatives to make sure it reaches the House floor this legislative session.
Fight for Driver’s Licenses PA is a grassroots network of immigrants organizing across Pennsylvania for driver’s licenses for undocumented Pennsylvanians. New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia is an interfaith, multicultural immigrant justice organization.