Undocumented immigrants fighting for bill that would give them a license

Licenses.JPG

ROCHESTER, NY (WHAM) -Undocumented farm workers plan to rally In Albany on Monday where if passed a controversial bill would give undocumented immigrants in New York a state driver's license.

A typical day for Luis starts at 5:30 in the morning. He is getting ready to go to work at a dairy farm where he spends 12 hours of his day.

"It's hard but, I am grateful to have work," he said.

This is how he supports his wife Blanca and their kids but, he says getting to work is challenging because he doesn't have a license.

"I think it's an important moment to fight," said Blanca.

Luis and his wife along with 30 others from Rochester are going to Albany on Monday to fight for a bill that if passed would allow undocumented immigrants to get a license.

Not only do I fight for me, but, for my husband, for my family for everyone who is scared to talk," said Blanca.

She said they pay people for rides to get around.

However, even then it can still be a challenge to get their kids to school.

"Sometimes we can't and I have to tell them[ my children] it's because I can't drive," said Blanca.

"Licenses are also important for making sure our communities are safe that we identify people," said Carly Fox, with the Worker Justice Center of New York and Agricultural Alliance.

However, some see this bill as dangerous.

"It opens the doors and gives them to individuals in which we can't determine who they are it's a recipe for disaster," said Mark Assisi, Gates Town Supervisor.

Assini said he sees this is a band-aid to a bigger problem and is calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

"If you've been here and a good citizen and worked you should be allowed to stay here and given status not necessarily as a citizen," he said.

Some dairy farm workers are calling this bill a necessity.

"If they don't think we should have one [a license] okay. Then they shouldn't drink a glass of milk because it possibly comes an undocumented worker," said Victor Cortez, a dairy farm worker.

Assini said if the bill is passed it's important to consider if an undocumented immigrant who has committed a crime should also be given a license.

The dairy farm workers said they will be joined by about 300 others to rally in Albany on Monday.


close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending