Summit Daily letters: Reaction to Morgan Liddick’s column on immigrants and driver’s licenses
March 4, 2018
Liddick's most recent column regarding drivers licenses is, as expected, filled with bias and inaccuracies. I began working with individuals applying for a driver's license under the Colorado SB251 program in June of 2017. Though the SB251 program is mostly identified as providing licenses for undocumented individuals, it in fact also provides license access to individuals who are temporarily legally present in the United States. Since June, I've worked with approximately 50 people seeking these licenses, and they have been, without exception, extremely grateful for the opportunity, though the process is, in my opinion, overly expensive, difficult, and onerous.
The SB251 program is, by law, self funded, so individuals applying for these licenses pay approximately three times the amount that you or I would pay. And one requirement for application is to acquire an Individual Tax Identification Number, which to obtain, requires filing U.S. and Colorado income taxes.
This program, which costs Colorado tax payers nothing, allows documented and undocumented individuals the ability to legally drive a vehicle, to be quickly and accurately identified in case of a driving violation or accident, and also to meet the legal requirement to obtain auto insurance. Any individual, regardless of documentation, cannot obtain auto insurance without a drivers license. Sheriff Joe Pelle, Boulder County, has this to say about the program: "This bill is good for all the motoring public, not just the recipient of the license."
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