Statewide Coalition to Gov. Cuomo: Take Action Now on Driver’s Licenses


The Green Light NY: Driving Together Coalition, representing dozens of immigrant base-building organizations and their allies across the state, calls on Governor Cuomo to take immediate action to protect immigrant New Yorkers. For past past two years, the coalition has been advocating for legislation that would restore access to driver’s licenses for undocumented New Yorker, but the legislature has failed to act. Immigrant New Yorkers can wait no longer. Governor Cuomo has repeatedly pledged to support and protect undocumented New Yorkers. Yet routine traffic stops throughout our state continue to trigger immigration enforcement actions leading to detention, deportation, and family separation. It is time for Governor Cuomo to use his executive power to allow undocumented New Yorkers to obtain a standard driver’s license, register and insure their vehicles, and drive safely without fear that simple traffic violation will put them in the crosshairs of President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. Today the coalition demands a response to following letter.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

In recent weeks our country has witnessed an escalation in the Trump Administration’s full-force assault on immigrant communities at the border and at home. Our communities are facing the reality of heightened and inhumane immigration enforcement and no one feels safe. ICE, Border Patrol and local police departments have created chaos in our neighborhoods, courts, schools, and workplaces. Children are afraid that their parents may not come home after work or that ICE might break into their house.

Despite the growing support at the community level, the New York Senate and Assembly failed to pass the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (A.10273/S.08680) in the 2018 legislative session. For this reason, we are calling on you to be true to your commitment to do everything in your power to stand up to the Trump Administration and protect New York’s immigrant and refugee families immediately.

A driver’s license is the most effective protection for many in our communities. In most areas of the state where driving is a necessity, driving without a license is extremely risky and every day leads to deportation. New York’s immigrants are frequently profiled by the local police and referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Border Patrol (BP) as the result of a simple driving infraction or routine stop. Those living and working along the northern border of our state are especially vulnerable. Having a driver’s license can serve as a shield to protect New York’s immigrants and keeping families together.

We appreciate past measures you have taken for New York to stand in support of immigrant families and against the policies of this administration. In recent weeks, we have seen you take swift executive action on other issues where our legislative bodies have failed. We now ask you to make the New York State standard driver’s license accessible to all state residents regardless of immigration status by issuing an executive order immediately. Immigrant families cannot wait until 2019 legislative session for protection.

The Steering Committee of the Green Light NY: Driving Together Coalition includes the following organizations: Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, Worker Justice Center of NY, Workers’ Center of Central NY, Justice for Migrant Families, Columbia Count Sanctuary Movement,  MinKwon Center for Community Action, Make the Road NY, and the New York Immigration Coalition.

Press Contacts:

Western New York (Buffalo)
Jennifer Conner, Justice for Migrant Families
(716) 550-9393

Western New York (Rochester)
Carly Fox, The Worker Justice Center of New York
(585) 500-9409

Central New York and North Country (Syracuse)
Rebecca Fuentes, The Worker Center of Central New York
(315) 218-5708

Capitol Region/Upper Hudson Valley
Bryan MacCormack, Columbia County Sanctuary Movement
(518) 821-6780

Hudson Valley
Emma Kreyche, The Worker Justice Center of New York
(845) 546-5304
Ignacio Acevedo, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
(845) 800-8340

New York City
New York Immigration Coalition
(212) 627-2227 or
David Choi, Minkwon Center for Community Action
(718) 460-5600 ext.308

Long Island
Walter Barrientos, Make the Road New York
(929) 271-0089

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