November 17, 2021

Moviemento Cosecha demands equal access to drivers licenses

Immigrant rights advocates went to the Statehouse Tuesday to demand lawmakers reverse a policy that bars undocumented immigrants from getting a driver’s license. - Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

Immigrant rights advocates went to the Statehouse Tuesday to demand lawmakers reverse a policy that bars undocumented immigrants from getting a driver’s license.

Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

For the past 14 years, undocumented immigrants living in Indiana have been barred from getting a driver’s license. Immigrant rights advocates went to the Statehouse Tuesday to demand lawmakers reverse the policy.

Dominga Cortes is a single mother, and has a son who needs specialized care that requires driving to Indianapolis twice a month from her home in Northwest Indiana.

But because Cortes is among Indiana’s 100,000 undocumented residents, state law prevents her from getting a driver's license.

She was one of the people demonstrating at the statehouse on Tuesday, with grassroots immigrant rights group Movimiento Cosecha. She wants her and the rest of the undocumented community to be able to drive without fear. 

“I’m hopeful they will reverse this law so that we can drive with safety and protection," said Cortes. "So that we can drive our kids to school, to the doctor, to their sports practice. So we can drive to our jobs safely -- both for us and other citizens.”

Cortes can legally buy a car and have insurance.

She and other members of Movimiento Consecha have been asking legislators to change the law for the last three years. 

They presented a petition, with more than 16,000 signatures, to state lawmakers, demanding driver’s licenses for all.

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

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