|Posted:||December 14, 2020 10:32 AM|
|From:||Senator Timothy P. Kearney|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Drivers Licenses For All|
|I will soon introduce legislation to make our roads and communities safer by allowing undocumented PA residents to apply for noncommercial driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.
During the pandemic we have seen how many of those workers were considered essential to keep our economy running, but immigrants are also essential to our diverse community in Pennsylvania, they are part of our communities, our towns, our cities. Their presence in Pennsylvania is revitalizing formerly shrinking communities, increasing our economic output and creating wealth for all. We cannot deny their identity or their existence, and by providing them with access to drivers licenses we are also recognizing the basic humanity and existence of immigrant workers.
At any time, immigrants are essential members of Pennsylvania and its economy, helping to run our farms, filling vacant jobs in our packing plants, taking care of our elders, providing professional services, and powering thousands of small businesses. Because of their immigration status these workers are experiencing a lack of access to a driver’s licenses.
Yet for so many of these jobs for which we depend on undocumented persons, driving to work is a necessary part of the job. This legislation will allow an individual to apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit using a secure alternative to a social security number, including a tax ID number. It will also protect the privacy of all Pennsylvanian’s personal information collected by drivers licenses.
Despite undocumented immigrants’ important role in our state, our current statutes force them to live and work in an unregulated fashion that we turn a blind eye to. This legislation will improve safety on our roads by reducing accidents, decreasing the number of uninsured drivers, and improving driver skills and awareness. In this bill, informational safety goes hand in hand with public safety. By extending driver’s licenses to all Pennsylvanians, the bill will lead to greater safety on our roads and in our communities.
I urge you to sign on to improve public safety, improve our economy, and provide dignity to all our residents.