February 9, 2022

Immigrant rights activists demand legislators permit drivers licenses for all

Members of immigrant rights activist group Movimiento Cosecha demonstrated at the Statehouse on Wednesday. - Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

Members of immigrant rights activist group Movimiento Cosecha demonstrated at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

Undocumented immigrants in Indiana are not legally allowed to obtain a drivers license. Immigrant rights activists have been disputing the law since it was put in place 15 years ago.

Two bills were introduced in the 2022 General Assembly that would reverse the law. Neither bill got very far before they were shut down.

Dominga Cortes is one of several thousand undocumented immigrants in Indiana who can’t legally drive. She and other members of immigrant rights activist group Movimiento Cosecha demonstrated at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

Cortes has been fighting the bill for years. She said she’s frustrated and tired of legislators not listening.

“If they want us to go on strike,” Cortes said, “if they want us to stop going to work, to not drive our children to school or to the doctor, to stop our contributions, OK. We can do that.”

Cortes emphasized that although a strike is possible, it wouldn’t be necessary if lawmakers listened to the group's requests.

Movimiento Cosecha has visited the Statehouse several times in the last few years demanding drivers licenses for all.

Group leaders said they will continue speaking out until their demands are heard.

Contact WFYI economic equity reporter Sydney Dauphinais at sdauphinais@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @syddauphinais.

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