Ortiz Fights for Immigrant Rights

Assemblyman Ortiz Calls for Equal Access to Drivers’ Licenses
February 8, 2006
(Albany NY) Today, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn 51AD), was joined by numerous fellow legislators and the New York Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights to Drivers’ Licenses at a legislative briefing to call on the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to end their new policy that prohibits thousands of hard working immigrants from getting their drivers’ licenses.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has made a number of changes administratively that has resulted in the denying of licenses to many legal immigrants as well as to other New Yorkers who are in the process of gaining legal status. Ortiz stated, “These policies will create an enormous negative impact on our state economically. Many of these immigrants will be unable to get to their place of employment without a license. We will have a huge increase in unemployed immigrants that will end up costing our state millions, if we deny them drivers’ licenses”.

The actions being taken by the Department of Motor Vehicles will cause undue hardships on those already struggling to assimilate to a new country and a new way of life. The policy of the DMV will severely limit hardworking individual’s access to quality medical attention, banking, housing, better employment and schools for their children as well as many other day to day necessities. It will also decrease our national security by increasing the number of immigrants who are not recorded by the state through identification cards and driver’s licenses.

Ortiz is encouraging action to be taken in passing his bill A. 611 which would allow for the use of a tax identification number when a legal immigrant applies for a driver’s license or a renewal of a driver’s license. “By increasing access to valid driver’s licenses and proper driver training we will not only be improving the lives of countless hardworking immigrants, but we will also be improving the safety of our roadways and country as a whole,” stated Ortiz.