New Sanctuary Movement campaigns are chosen by our immigrant community members. In order to choose to organize for driver’s licenses for all in Pennsylvania, members held a two-month “Listening Campaign” and held one-on-one conversations with 200 immigrants in Philadelphia. The results were strong: 59% of the 200 people we spoke with during the summer of 2014 chose obtaining driver’s licenses as the most important issue to improve their lives.

The right to a driver’s license is a right to mobility. NSM members held a two-month “Listening Campaign” and held one-on-one conversations with 200 immigrants in Philadelphia. The results were strong: 59% of the 200 immigrants we spoke with chose obtaining driver’s licenses as the most important issue to improve their lives.

Why are driver’s license such a pressing need?
  • A gateway to other fundamental needs. The right to mobility is a gateway to other fundamental needs — to work, to education, to health care, accessible housing, etc.
  • Directly decreases people’s vulnerability to deportation: Traffic stops, often made because of racial profiling, are among the most common introductions into the detention and deportation machine in our country.

While driving, he was stopped by the police, who arrested him because he had no drivers license. He was taken to York County Prison, where a $7,500 bail was posted. His pregnant wife had to sell her belongings to pay his bail, causing severe economic hardship and trauma for their family. He still faces deportation. The story of Armando and his family is not uncommon.” 

Armando′s story
  • Economic access is contingent on mobility. Beyond the need to be able to access better jobs and work sufficient hours, the economic well being of immigrant families is further periled when parents have difficulty transporting their children to and from school and face difficulty finding affordable housing close enough to their jobs. 
  • Dignity and mental well being. Freedom of Movement is established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basic human need. Every facet of life becomes an obstacle when one is unable to securely transport themselves and their loved ones. The daily fear immigrants face when getting behind the wheel has a toll on the mental health of them and their family and detracts energy that could otherwise be used to strengthen and spread community. Obtaining driver’s licenses for all is a required step in strengthening immigrant leadership and participation in other justice movements.

Check out this feed for the most recent campaign activity:

#PALicensesForAll photo blog

http://palicensesforall.tumblr.com

State-wide retreat for immigrants working on the driver’s license campaign held in York, Pennsylvania. The campaign launches a photo-testimonial blog...