April 6th, 2019

This was printed/posted in the Capital Times (Madison, WI) yesterday.

Take it for what it is worth.

“I work with the New Sanctuary Movement. I volunteer to accompany undocumented immigrants to their court appearances. I have escorted immigrants to various county courthouses throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Most of the time, these people have gone to court because they have been stopped for driving without a license. Without exception, these persons have been terrified by the prospect of going to court, primarily because of the possibility that ICE agents will arrest them while they are there. This is not an unreasonable fear. I have seen plainclothes ICE agents in at least one courthouse, and they did take somebody away.

There would be no need for me to accompany these immigrants if only Wisconsin would allow them to have driver’s licenses. Other states do not forbid undocumented immigrants from getting licenses. Why do we do that? These people need to drive, just like everyone else. They have to get to work, to school, to any number of places. They would be safer if they didn’t fear being arrested. We would all be safer if they had licenses and car insurance.

Let’s change the law, and give all Wisconsin residents driver’s licenses.”


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