Nearly 500 Activists and Leading Elected Officials Tell Albany Leaders: Don’t Leave Town Without Passing #DriversLicensesNOW

May 21st, 2019

Albany, NY – With less just 14 days remaining in the state legislative session, nearly 500 activists joined in solidarity with leading elected officials to build on the growing momentum and call for the passage of Green Light NY legislation before time runs out this year. Despite the significant momentum that has been building toward passage, including Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie committing to a vote and prominent law enforcement officials from across the state coming out in support, Senate leaders have refused to commit to a vote on the bill, and the Governor has not asked the Legislature for a vote as well.

In calling for legislative action, advocates released the following statements:

“The time to restore driving privileges to non-citizen residents of our state is now. This legislation will make our roads safer for all New Yorkers. In addition, drivers licenses for all will raise significant revenues for our state and reduce insurance costs for all drivers. Moreover, this legislation will aid our local law enforcement. And finally, this legislation will grow our economic justice throughout New York State,” said Assemblymember Marcos Crespo, co-sponsor of the Greenlight NY bill.

“The Green Light Bill is without a doubt the right thing to do for New York. Expanding driver’s licenses will make our roads safer, our communities stronger & more unified, and generate a massive economic boom. Undocumented immigrants already contribute over a billion dollars to NY’s economy annually, and this bill will only expand that. Green Light will benefit all New Yorkers, by creating more jobs, higher wages, millions of dollars in state & local revenue, and lowering insurance premiums, across urban & rural areas. New York deserves the green light bill, and the time to act is now,” said Senator Sepulveda, co-sponsor of the Greenlight NY bill.

"It's simple—our State Senate leaders need to show political leadership by passing driver's licenses legislation that will benefit all New Yorkers. With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, we are racing against the clock to make sure all eligible New York residents are properly licensed, registered and insured - making our roads safer and our local economies stronger.  Time is running out on this clear win-win for all New Yorkers,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

"We are here to demand drivers licenses for everyone regardless of immigration status. Not having a driver’s licenses can result in family separation, parents get detained and put into immigration custody for driving without a license, like what happened to me and my husband. We want to stop family separation in NY. We ask our representatives to pass our legislation now, to pass it this year and not wait for the next one. The more they wait, the more family separation will happen, and it is not fair that other families continue to experience this situation,” said Gloria Jimenez, member of the Workers Center of CNY.

"The part that I like about the Green Light Campaign is where it says it will make us all safe! Because right now, I don't feel safe thinking about my parents being stopped," said Justin Minga, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.