Summit Daily letters: State legislators should take action to help immigrants
With the holidays behind us and a new legislative cycle beginning, our lawmakers are poised with the perfect opportunity to protect our Colorado immigrants, community and economy.
They can do so by ensuring legislation passed in 2013 that allowed undocumented immigrants in our communities to obtain driver’s licenses functions as intended by allocating proper funding to the program which has been limited by budgetary restraints. Already riddled with backlog, immigrants in our communities could be forced to travel to just one DMV in the state if this issue is left unfixed.
With expanded access, Coloradoans can rest easy knowing all drivers are licensed and insured. But we need to make sure a budget solution is passed or the current months-long waiting list could become even longer, driving distances to obtain a license could become even further and the negative impacts the delay and restrictions have on our communities and economy could worsen.
Our state lawmakers can also help Colorado immigrants by following the City of Denver’s lead and passing a state-wide legal defense fund to help provide legal assistance to immigrants who otherwise would be forced to go through our court system alone, lacking the guidance necessary to navigate the complex process.
I’m confident our state leadership can make some positive changes in 2019 to help immigrants in our communities and am thankful for recently launched efforts by FWD.us to ensure our communities and economy are bolstered by continuing to give immigrants driver’s licenses and that they’re given legal aid.
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