VA Dems push bill to give driver licenses to up to 300,000 undocumented immigrants
Virginia Democrats are pushing for a bill that would give 300,000 undocumented immigrants a driver's license. This was met with criticism as it looks like it is rewarding immigrants who have come here on illegal terms. This is a sure path, and a fast one, for them to gain legal residency. There are also supporters out there who claim that the state's revenue will increase and the level of fear that the immigrant community will decrease greatly.
State Senator Scott Surovell stated "There's 17 other states who have done it and the other states have removed the legal presence requirement, the number of collisions have gone down." He believes this bill would impact the lives of 300,000 undocumented immigrants that are currently without driver's license. He says that these immigrants may be there illegally but they work, go to doctor's appointments and more. If they were halted in a routine traffic stop, these people can be detained or deported on the spot.
17 other states have similar laws that will grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. This includes New York. However, the Trump Administration has blocked New York drivers from participating in Global Entry programs. This Global Entry programs would allow more undocumented immigrants to get themselves driver's licenses.
Surovell believes that granting driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants will bring ten to seventeen million dollars a year. This Monday, the Senate will vote in this bill, with an identical bill also in the House. Should these both pass, Governor Ralph Northam will sign it and it would be in effect January 1, 2021.