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DRIVER’S LICENSES for UNDOCUMENTED WISCONSINITES

The Problem: In 2005 the U.S. Congress passed the Real ID Act, requiring all states to turn driver’s licenses into a federal identification card. The Real ID Act took effect in Wisconsin on April 1, 2007. Because driver’s licenses are now federal identifications, they require social security numbers. Therefore, people who are undocumented are no longer able to obtain a driver license or have any other legal way to drive a car or purchase car insurance. 

The Solution: Alternative Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Wisconsinites.  The federal Real ID Act allows individual states to create an alternative driver’s license for undocumented people. An alternative driver’s license  would allow for the ability to drive legally. These alternative driver’s licenses cannot be used for official federal purposes such as voting, passports, etc.  An alternative driver’s license is not a driver license, but it would positively identify the card holder, ensure that driver education and tests were successfully completed, and allow a legal way for people without documents to drive to work, school, church and shopping. It would also allow for affordable car insurance.

Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Wisconsinites will: 

  • Drive the Economy The Department of Transportation estimates that extending eligibility for driver’s licenses and identification cards to people without documents would increase revenues by $2.9 million in the first full year of implementation. Insurance and automotive industries have lost the business of thousands of immigrants who no longer have licenses, and the state DMV has lost the financial contribution of people who are now denied access to its services.
  • Drive Public Safety Licensing drivers based on ability to drive improves public safety. An alternative driver’s license would assure immigrants access to proper road safety, driving test, and automotive insurance. This results in safer roads and lower costs for insured drivers. The current climate of fear caused by lack of legal ability to drive erodes trust in local law enforcement and prevents many immigrants from reporting if they are victims or witnesses to crimes, or participating in investigations. Law enforcement remains steadfast in their support for Driver’s License for Undocumented Wisconsinites because it would positively identify drivers on the street, allow law enforcement to focus on more important public safety matters, and create better relations with residents in the community.
  • Drive Immigrants Out of the Shadows Immigrants make countless positive contributions to Wisconsin communities, schools, churches, economy, and culture. Undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin paid an estimated $156.9 million in federal taxes and $101.1 million in state and local taxes in 2018 (American Immigration Council).

Immigrants make countless positive contributions to Wisconsin Communities and have kept us going during the pandemic. Driver’s License for Undocumented Wisconsinites is an easy reward for all their hard work.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Sign up for updates and action alerts at office@wisdomwisconsin.org
  • Use WISDOM’s template (below) for letters of support and phone calls from your personal and organizational networks
  • Use the graphics below for social media posts: use #DriveTheEconomy #StandWithImmigrants
  • Submit letters to the editor of your local papers
  • Call into local radio talk shows and give interviews to local TV Stations
  • Contact legislators by phone, email, or letter asking them to support driver cards. Who’s my legislator? Click here: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/
  • Join WISDOM ‘s monthly Immigration Task Force Conference Call. Contact office@wisdomwisconsin.org

Task Force Chair Jessica Diaz on Telemundo illuminates the problem:
Grupo estatal busca apoyo para regresar licencias de conducir para personas indocumentadas

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