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Undocumented Immigrants Should be Able to Obtain a Driver’s License: Cruz

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April 30, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

New York State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz is trying to rally support for legislation that would provide undocumented immigrants with the ability to a get a driver’s license.

Cruz, who wrote an op-ed in the NY Daily News Monday, is a co-sponsor of The Drivers License Access and Privacy Act, a bill that has been introduced in both the Assembly and state Senate that would grant undocumented immigrants with the right to be able to get a driver’s license.

“Being denied the right to apply for a driver’s license merely based on immigration status alone creates unnecessary boundaries for families to thrive,” Cruz, who represents Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona, wrote in a the op-ed.

“For undocumented immigrants, it makes an already difficult life, even more difficult,” she said.

Cruz wrote that she saw first hand the problems the lack of access to a license created. Her mother, who was an undocumented immigrant for 10 years after leaving Colombia, had difficulty getting to jobs in many transit-barren areas of Queens. She said her inability to drive caused hardship.

“It’s time that we take a humane and common-sense approach to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to opportunity. It’s time for driver’s licenses for all,” she wrote.

The bill was introduced in both the assembly and senate in January and is currently in their respective transportation committee.

The number of uninsured drivers on the road would decrease should undocumented immigrants be given the right to drive, Cruz said. It would ensure, she said, that more drivers are properly registered and regulated.

The additional issuance of driver’s licenses would also generate an additional $57 million in revenue for state and county governments, according to the immigrant rights advocacy group New York Immigration Coalition.

The group also noted that the average insurance premium for New York drivers would also drop by $17 per person per year should the undocumented population get insurance.

Cruz said that the Assembly has been holding briefings in recent weeks to address the concerns that some legislators have and inform them of the bill’s goal.

Cruz said she is speaking publicly about her story as she tries to get more Assembly and Senate members on board.

“This bill will lead to safer roads, more registered and insured drivers, increase state funds, and allow immigrants to drive without fear of getting deported for getting pulled over,” Cruz told the Jackson Heights Post.

Twelve states, including California and even more politically conservative states such as Utah, have passed similar legislation.

Cruz said that the issue is not just a partisan issue and that many Democrats still don’t support the bill. Many believe that people who are in the United States illegally should not be allowed such rights.

“We’re not looking for a free pass — we just want to have the same ability to apply for a driver’s license after passing road safety and proficiency exams to become qualified and eligible, just like everyone else,” she wrote.

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This is crazy! First of all, their in the country Illegally! SO you’re giving criminals a driver’s License. Do they already have use of the hospitals and medical that our taxes pay for? When are we going to stop letting American Tax payers pay for the world?

Cesar Reyez Ortega

It is a shame that in the 21st century in apparently one of the most educated countries. Still existing people like you, with such a poor and arrogant mentality. I invite you to inform yourself better -undocummented people also pay taxes, and if you are not a Native American Indian You are also a criminal.


American Indian is far from being an illegal in America. That’s a whole different issue. I do know for sure, that my family came here legally from Europe. Giving illegals license is another step closer to giving illegals more opportunity to cast an illegal vote. How do these illegals drive on our streets when they can’t read or write English!


Is necessary to give illegals car too. No make sense to give only license if no car to drive. Tax more to give me car too Thank you very much

A New Yorker too

If New Yorker’s are being told to walk and bike to work, expected to walk further because of Select Bus Service so that the MTA can claim the bus system is faster & on time, why do illegals need a driver’s license, can’t they walk & bike too? Where are they going to park their cars, are they getting subsidized / free parking too?


There are too many cars on the streets already. We have legs to walk, public transportation to get anywhere and we subsidize people with WIC cardsthat have an iPhone,designer purse and a car service waiting for them outside the supermarket.

charles castro

How can you give someone who is here illegally, the legal right to drive? You people are sick. Next up, make registered sex offenders, baby sitters..


Before judging someone look at your own falls .people like you are too many in this world and are useless .make a diference and be remembered by others ,mr “CASTRO” last name doesn’t hide of who we are ..latinos .


I’m not judging anyone you Annon coward. Illegals should be deported, not given licenses.

Tim Dixon

What happened to the word illegal it seems like it has a new definition for the ignorant. It’s just an about racism however liberals love to play that game. Why should they be giving a driver’s license if they cannot read the English road signs. I work in a information center and you might as well be talking to a door. How can they travel our roadways safely well they don’t. We have literally had to stop them from going down a one-way. They come here illegally without coming to the door why should you be invited into our home? America is beginning to lose its common sense. This is a joke learn English come in the right door. Giving people driver’s license that we know nothing about is stupid. America is starting to suffer from illegal immigration and it will get a lot worse. From disease death on the highways and we see it every single day if not at least once a week. Wake up America


Ouch……. BTW, how can this help Vision Zero in any way?

Tim Dixon

You can tell who is challenging you liberals with no common sense or the people that are here illegally. You’re right on

LIC Neighbor

They already drive without licenses and uninsured in many cases when caught NY even after accidents NYPD won’t arrest them either. Give them licenses but charge them a higher fee.

Why does that sound completely false??

NYPD won’t arrest illegal immigrants that got in car accidents?!

Is there any reason to believe that, or just more unhinged ranting by Trumptards?


You should educate yourself more on the situation before opposing it. I came here as a boy. My parents were doing well in our country until my brother fell sick. We looked everywhere for health securities before making a decision to move. I didn’t have a choice but to come here. I grew up in NYC. Went to school here. My parents and I WORK HARD and we PAY OUR TAXES. We aren’t asking for much. We just want a safe way to drive and get around. You speak about crime rates due to illegal immigration. Minus the amount of people who commit crime that are illegal and see what the rate is then.


There is a right way and a wrong way to enter this country. If you and your parents entered illegally then you all broke the law and should not be rewarded for it. Sorry you family member is sick but that still don’t make what your family did right. If you stole my car because you needed to get to the hospital you still stole my car and are responsible. I shouldn’t reward you with a car of your own now should i?

Sara Ross

I’m all for people coming here for a better life (my grandparents did through Ellis Island, which was no easy thing to do; people who came on ships (not luxury liners either), once they got to Ellis Island, they sat for hours in the waiting room and then had to go through a lot of tests – physical and mental – and if they didn’t pass them, if they didn’t have a job or a place to live, they were sent back. Thankfully, my grandparents made it through! Whether somebody is documented or undocumented, we don’t know unless we ask for their paperwork. BUT… as a licensed and insured driver, I wouldn’t want to get into an accident with one and be stuck paying for all repairs myself, not to mention my rates would go up! How Access A Ride hires drivers who don’t speak English I’ll never understand (not to mention why permit tests are given in every language when our signs are in English?). We make things too easy for people who come here from other countries so that they don’t have to learn the language. I got information on the upcoming elections and they were in Chinese and Spanish. Also, I’m tired of going food shopping and seeing people in front of me take out their benefit cards and buy things I can’t afford – steak, brand name products (store brand is fine with me) and they have to be shown how to sign their name on the screen – pantomime at its worst. I’m also tired of calling big corporations (even the IRS) and the first words are “for english press 1”! WTH!

A guy

Your issues are minor. This is what life is about. Many people. Immigrants don’t intend on hurting anyone. Infact you should be scared of yourself. The fact that you are tired of hearing people speak their native language. Don’t say that in NYC publicly, you’ll be me made a fool.


Dear “A guy”:
This article is about giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens not immigrants; and you know it. Stop equating ILLEGAL ALIENS with the law abiding people of America.


> I’m also tired of calling big corporations and the first words are “for english press 1”

Wow, imagine being this sensitive?

diversity is scary!

> I’m also tired of calling big corporations (even the IRS) and the first words are “for english press 1”!

Just a warning” never go out in public in NYC. You might hear people speaking languages other than English! THE HORROR

You're...scared of Spanish?! Lmao!

You sound was too easily offended for NYC. Move to a Republican paradise like Alabama,

Juan Garrido

Go to PA aka “Ponnsylvania or RI “Rode Eye lynn”” they hand em out like candy .

One tired person

We need to think we need to think before we act and not speak just to get votes. Unfortunately, our elected officials create many of our problems. How can we have safety on our streets if we allow “Illegal Immigrants” drivers licenses. How can we ensure that they can afford the necessary auto insurance? Once again our officials are not working for the hard working citizens of our country. Why don’t we have all those in favor of this idea step up and foster an illegal immigrant and become legally liable for any actions that cause harm to our citizens? How about it Cruz want to be the first to enter into an agreement to foster an illegal immigrant? Pay attention to the citizens!


We work hard! Thats how we’re able to afford it! We work double you probably do. I know of a guy who’s illegal and he works from 7am-6:30 pm. And then he gets up out of his rest leaving his family to go work from 9pm to 5am. We’re not criminals like you say we are! We’re American in everyway. We just don’t have a piece of paper that you were so fortunate to have.

Crackson Heights

Plenty of American citizens drive uninsured in America. All cars with NY plates must be insured if not you must return the plates if not they suspend your registration. Yet still people drive without insurance. Giving them licenses at least ensures they have some level of driving skill. Also you should also have insurance that does covered uninsured drivers .

Sloppy Joe

New York drivers are the worst anyway ,
always been & always will be .
Always in a rush to get to the next red light.

Business Owner

undocumented New yorker’s receiving a drivers license would increase the economy in more rural areas instead of just the city where other forms of transportation is available. 30% or more of small businesses are immigrant owned in NYC imagine if they are giving the opportunity to drive they will be able to travel more and expand their businesses to other parts offering jobs and boosting the economy wherever they go. Not to mention all the taxes they pay will go into those communities. Working people who boost our economy and pay taxes should have the right to drive.


Dear “Business Owner”;
This article is about giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens not immigrants. You are deliberately misleading when you substitute “immigrant” for “ILLEGAL ALIEN”, they are not the same. This is a common deceit used by amnesty advocates.

As for the two points you are trying to make, they are both lies.

1) You sneakily substitute the word immigrant trying to imply that “30% of small businesses are owned…” by illegal aliens. This is a lie.

2) Illegal aliens do not pay taxes. This is a tired myth, another lie. Most work in predominantly cash environment where income is not reported. Or, they work with false, fake, fraudulent or stolen SS#’s (a federal crime in itself). Their common scam is to claim 10 dependents so that little or nothing is withheld. In fact some even dare to file 1040’s using their phoney names and #SS’s to get “Earned Income Tax” benifit checks.


Tony- You always fail to mention the complicit employers hiring illegals. If an employee claims 10 dependants the employer is supposed to verify with the IRS. Scam? Do you honestly believe the employer hiring illegals doesn’t know the documents provided by the employee are bogus or stolen? Fox doesn’t touch on this piece of the equation.


Anthony – You are wrong, and you should be careful when using definitive words like “always”. I have, several times denounced “complicit employers” that knowingly and willingly hire illegal aliens.

Employers are not required to verify or even submit W-4 to the IRS unless the exemptions exceed ten. Employers (and the “living in the shadows” community) knows this. If an employer suspects tax fraud, a bogus SS# or that the applicant may be illegal – he should proceed carefully. The consequences of stereotyping can (and will) be labeled discriminatory, racist and anti-immigrant. The business and livelihood could targeted by some “activist” looking to make a name for himself, and face a ginned-up picket line.

As for those employers that deliberately hire illegal aliens, yes they should have the book thrown at them. Those that pay in cash do so because it’s cheaper. They exploit labor at substandard wages and pocket the difference. I have no sympathy for them.

A federal law requiring all employers to use E-Verify would put an end to this theft. Of course Catalina Cruz and the “open border” crowd (I’ll assume you too) are against such a requirement.

And as for your comment regarding Fox; I’ll just conclude it’s either ignorance or a petty attempt to insult. Fox has aired many discussions about open borders. How the left aims to build a constituency; and how the right favors cheap labor.

Stew Gots

Half of the people at the DMV speaks no English, understand very little about traffic rules and safety, can’t park their car , and they have their driver’s license, and these people are supposed to be American citizens.
NYC gives out drivers licenses to anyone anyway ( repeated drunk drivers )

Captain Obvious

They can’t be any more worse than the average American driver
Rude, Crazy , full of road rage.
God bless America.

Alice Smith

Let people live. Let people drive. Stop being so hard. Aren’t undocumented immigrants just like you,? Is just the status makes a difference. They not apes or other creatures? Let them live, drive, reproduce and get out of poverty. They are already oppressed by society , so why kill them.
Why do you say they should not be here? WHY.America is not for you only , don’t get it twisted. Let people live free.
Stop oppressing poor people, Too mean
Give the people the license. Support a eorthy cause.
Look, the neauty of God’s nature is not gor the elite only. Or the do called elite. Its for ALL of us. For example , Sunshine. Rain, and all of the things we use but didn’t buy? So dont be too Chesty about immigrants. Its God’s Green Earth for us all.

Jason Neupert

God forbid a father falls 3 months behind on child support. They suspend are driver’s license! But she wants to give illegals the privilege of a driver’s license. Change your crooked N.Y child support collection laws Cruz!!!
“For undocumented immigrants, it makes an already difficult life, even more difficult,” she said.”

Cruz wrote that she saw first hand the problems the lack of access to a license created. Her mother, who was an illegal immigrant for 10 years after leaving Colombia, had difficulty getting to jobs in many transit-barren areas of Queens. She said her inability to drive caused hardship.


Wait…do you really not know the difference between “are” and “our”?! Lmao! Maybe learn basic grammar before pretending you understand municipal vehicle licensing.


“Her mother, who was an illegal immigrant for 10 years”
Is Catalina Cruz saying that she is am “anchor baby”? If so, this explains her many amnesty positions.


I have been working in the restaurant industry for 12 years in NYC ,
where you know almost every one is undocumented, what boils my blood is the fact that nobody has an ITIN number to pay taxes , they just put 6 or 9 dependents in the W2 and don’t file taxes , all that money goes to their country, nothing is invested here
so being undocumented is a very good business, I wonder if I do the same the IRS would ignore this

no more benefits


If their illegals how are they paying taxes? Oh by using someone s ID and stolen social security # illegally?

Do illegals really want documentation?

This is really about finding additional revenue streams for the state masked as concern for illegal aliens.

Why would any “smart” illegal want a driver’s license? They try to live under the radar as much as possible, a driver’s license makes it easy to track them.


Assembly Member Catalina Cruz is absolute correct in her statement that, without a license, “for undocumented immigrants, it makes an already difficult life, even more difficult…” And that, in a nut shell. Is the point. Opinions then diverge because of one sentiment, those that want and favor illegals being here and those that don’t. Rewarding or erasing the every day sting of illegal immigration removes the road blocks against it. It would make laws against illegal immigration meaningless; it would be just a law that no one pays attention to, like jay walking. Having said that, let’s be clear about one thing. Illegal aliens are a drain on the US economy. Every dollar an illegal sends home (in the form of remittances) is one less dollar spent in the US. In 2015, that’s 25 Billion US Dollars that went to Mexico alone (not including other Central American countries). So, IMHO, I would vote NO to allowing driver’s licenses for illegals. I’m in favor of granting an ID card with their name, fingerprint, DOB and country of origin on it as it would make it easier to ID them in case of death or accidents where they need family notification. But not to make life easier as it encourages them to stay, and to continue to send dollars out of the US.


No way should illegal aliens be allowed to drive. Deport them let ICE do their jobs.

Ashley Herrera

Illegal Immigrants should not get drivers liscense access in the great state of New York instead of elected representatives doing their job to serve the American people they choose serving these specks who are a strain on our economy for working class workers they bring crime like ms13 drugs among other things I say as a Queer Latina we should not give Illegal immigrants drivers liscense access it also over populates the city adding more cars and causes more pollution as well as making traffic worse for people who should not even be here


Not all immigrants bring crime. Some bring business, that’s what makes New York City diverse & improving the economy. As for too much cars, there are also other people who commute here that live in other near states.

Maybe you should learn how to spell license before commenting on licensing policy?

If you need a hint, it’s in the title of the article.

Dr Doolittle

We absolutely need more people driving around without insurance along with the bicycles to increase the patient population using Obamacare.

Joe at Berkley

Dr. Know little- Using “Obama Care”? The ACA “Obama Care” is free market health insurance purchased by an individual consumer, that’s provided by regular free market insurance companies. Would you rather more people use medicaid or just skip paying the bill all together?

Matthew Puk

I agree with this article, this should get passed immediately. Safety is number one over anything.

It's almost like Asylum laws exist!

Great point, I assume if a drug cartel told you that unless you sell your daughter into sex slavery, they’ll kill your family, you’d just stay put and let your family get murdered.

Ashley Herrera

No Drivers Liscense Access for Illegal immigrants they should not even be here period

What are proper nouns?

Ashely, not to say that more Trumptards are really stupid, but you’re capitalizing letters that don’t need to be, and you misspelled a word that’s literally in the title of this article.


The poster’s name is Ashley …not Ashely. Oh, sweet irony for someone doling out lessons in grammar!

You literally misspelled a word that is in her posting name.

But seriously, why not also note the vast incomprehension of the English language in literally EVERY post on this comment board (yours included)? Can’t be selective just to prove a point, chief.


Keep rewarding and they will keep coming. No Benefits!

Make no mistake, Democrats want this. They will with hold support allowing as many illegal aliens to enter the country before assisting in border security. Dems offer rewards, incentives so…..More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars. Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country 8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not only pay for the birth of you’re child but will also give you state government assistance.

To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing “temporary or deferred” about these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula works great.

Joe at Berkley

Kelli- There is no greater incentive to an illegal alien then a job. No matter what Fox News tells you.


Right on take care of the homeless and veterans that are treated like dirt that have paid taxes and defended our country and hard working Americans struggling to survive.


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