Lawmakers Move To Provide Drivers’ Licenses To Migrants

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Lawmakers were busy Friday trying to meet a deadline to move bills out of committee. A few bills got an extension of the deadline.

The Senate Transportation Committee got permission to put off until next week a bill that would authorize driver identification cards to Vermont residents who are in the country illegally.

Migrant farm workers and members of the Shumlin administration have endorsed the bill. Danilo Lopez of the group Migrant Justice was at the Statehouse to support the proposal. Lopez spoke through an interpreter about the challenges he and other farm workers face.

"We always find ourselves depending on other people, whether that’s employers or even sometimes people who charge us really high prices so that we can get around and move around with basic freedom," he said.

Lopez says the identification cards would give the migrant community the opportunity to live with more dignity in Vermont.

But opponents say the new IDs might not work as planned. They say there really should be more requirements – including a driving and writing test and proof of insurance. The Senate Transportation Committee is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

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