Thursday, April 24, 2014
Living in a Car Culture Without a License: The Ripple Effects of Withholding Driver's Licenses from Unauthorized Immigrants
Today, the Immigration Policy Center released Living in a Car Culture Without a License: The Ripple Effects of Withholding Driver's Licenses from Unauthorized Immigrants by Sarah E. Hendricks, Ph.D. In recognition of the many contributions immigrants make to our society and economy, states and cities across the country are creating welcoming initiatives that seek to integrate and maximize the contributions of immigrant workers and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. On a parallel track, some states currently offer driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants and many more states have begun considering it. This makes sense given that the United States is among the top motor-vehicle dependent countries in the world.This paper argues that states that do not offer driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants will limit the contributions that immigrant communities as a whole can make, are likely to face negative economic and public safety consequences and risk creating a climate that impedes the adaptation of immigrants.