Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fighting for SB390 and Temporary Driver's Licenses for Immigrants

Yesterday, I was joined by the New Virginia Majority, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO), CASA, the Commonwealth Institute, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health to present SB 390 to the Transportation Committee, which would allow temporary driver’s licenses to be issued to applicants unable to demonstrate legal residency in Virginia. Unfortunately, the bill was passed by indefinitely by a vote of 7-6 and will not be advanced through the General Assembly.  You can watch the video below.

I am very proud of the community and the passionate advocates who made the trip to Richmond to tell their stories and urge the committee members to pass the bill. Some had heartbreaking stories, like a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to drive herself to doctor’s appointments because her husband was not allowed a driver’s license. Another woman had to resume driving for her whole family just one week after giving birth.

It was breathtaking to see so many of these committed Virginians hold up a wave of American flags as they asked to legally share our roads and be a more integrated part of our communities. The committee room was packed wall-to-wall with petitioners, who themselves were only a fraction of the over 3000 people who signed the petition asking the Senate to pass SB 390.

 Similar bills are still on the floors of the General Assembly, such as Delegate Robert Bloxom’s (R-100) bill, HB 1316. This would allow a temporary driver’s license to be issued to an applicant if he or she has established residency in Virginia, has filed an income tax return, has registered with the Department of Homeland Security, and has proof of car insurance. This bill will be heard in a subcommittee of the House Transportation committee soon.

Despite the bill being passed by indefinitely yesterday, I consider the accomplishments of the Drive Virginia Forward movement a success, along with how many supporters were gathered in the General Assembly Building yesterday. This movement and the people behind it have my wholehearted support and if we do not pass legislation this year providing temporary driver’s licenses, we will be back next year to try again.


1 comment:

  1. This is awesome, Scott! Makes me proud to know and support you!