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La Injusticia Para Uno Es La Injusticia Para Todos!

Licenses For Undocumented Passes Colorado House/Senate, Waiting On Gov


 Rep. Jovan Melton with SB 251 Supporters

It was with some resignation House Republicans voted for the final time against granting licenses to undocumented immigrants.  It was the third and final reading of the law.  If the majority of the Colorado house voted for the law, it would go the Senate for conformance and then to the desk of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for signature.  The vote was exactly as predicted, 32 Republicans against.   The Democrats carried the day with 34 votes for the measure.

 

 The House Prepares For The Vote


Even if Governor Hickenlooper signs the law, immigrants won’t be driving legally in the state of Colorado any time soon.  In order to prepare the Colorado Department of Revenue which oversees Colorado licenses, the first license can’t be had until August of 2014, a little more than a year away.

 

 Colorado House Republicans

However, a year passes quickly, especially for people who have been waiting 13 years for the opportunity to apply for a license.  It was 1999 when the last immigrant was licensed and when the right to obtain a license by an undocumented person was withheld.

 Colorado Sen. Jessie Ulibarri Greets Supporters

 

Meanwhile, immigration reform is alive and moving in the U.S. Congress.  If passed, 7 out of 10 immigrants will have an opportunity to adjust their status to a “registered” person.  Under the current proposal proffered by the Gang of 8, immigrants who stay out of trouble for 10 additional years will be able to apply as permanent residents.  Follwing that, the immigrants will be able to apply for citizenship, providing the current 27 year backlog of waiting applications is cleared.

 

 

The issue of drivers licenses is important to all immigrants.  Just because immigrants can register does not necessarily mean they will be able to obtain licenses.  Licenses are managed on the State level.  Hence, some states may take the position immigrants cannot obtain licenses under their laws.  For a few states, including Washington State, Utah, New Mexico and Illinois, the matter is already resolved.  Immigrants can obtain licenses in those states.   If the Governor of Colorado signs the new law into effect, immigrants will be able to obtain a license in Colorado, as well.

 


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