Green Light NY: Driving Together

The Green Light NY: Driving Together campaign is working to expand access to driver’s licenses to all residents of New York State, regardless of their immigration status. This is of particular concern to immigrants upstate, many of whom work on farms in rural areas. Expanding access to driver’s licenses is one way to help support marginalized communities, by bringing them out of the shadows and treating them fairly and equitably.

Why is this important?

New York currently bars hundreds of thousands of immigrants in our state from obtaining driver’s licenses due to their immigration status. This results in major barriers to meeting the most basic needs of day-to-day life: traveling to work, school, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and places of worship. Out of necessity, many immigrants drive without licenses, putting them at odds with law enforcement, undermining trust between police and immigrant communities, and increasing the risk that a routine traffic stop will result in arrest, detention, or even deportation. Others are taken advantage of by local drivers who prey upon desperation by charging exorbitant rates. Upstate immigrant communities have identified access to driver’s licenses as a top concern. Expanded access will allow immigrant families to more fully participate in community life and travel more freely in our state, with less fear. Twelve other states, including our neighbors in Connecticut and Vermont, issue licenses regardless of immigration status, and it is time for New York to do the same.

What can you do?

  • Sign and share the petition below! [NOTE: Only include an organization if that group endorses the campaign.]
  • Have your congregation or organization endorse the campaign.
  • Participate in monthly campaign calls. You’ll receive the call-in info if you’ve signed the petition.
  • Host a forum or workshop at your congregation. E-mail jpaparone@labor-religion.org and we’ll connect you with the local organization that is leading the campaign in your area.
  • Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter (@GreenLightNYDT).

We’re glad to be assisting a broad range of statewide and community groups in this campaign, including the Worker Justice Center, the Worker’s Center of Central NYCommunity Voices HeardMake the Road NYNYCLU, and the New York Immigration Coalition.

More than ever, now is a critical time to stand up and speak out for immigrant rights. We hope you’ll do so as part of this campaign.