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Common Council ponders support for drivers' licenses for undocumented

Aug 10, 2016 7:00 am

John Mason is reporting in the Register-Star Hudson Common Council is considering support for an effort to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The idea was originally introduced by the Hudson City Democrats, chaired by Michael Chameides, in July. At the Common Council meeting Mon., Aug. 8, Chameides led the public discussion. He said, “We all know the immigration system is not working. We can’t fix that. But we have immigrants in this county — we can make changes to make people lives better.” Chameides said it benefits the city to have residents with driver's licenses. “It makes their lives better and makes our community richer. We want people to pay into the pool: It’s a win-win for the county,” he said. Emma Kreyche of the Worker Justice Center of New York said she has been working on this issue for more than 10 years, since New York state first started revoking the driver’s licenses of people without Social Security numbers. Kreyche said measure could be passed by the State Legislature, or via executive order. The Justice Center's objective is to build support at the local level for the idea. Twelve states currently allow an undocumented immigrant to get a drivers license, including Connecticut and Vermont. The council will consider the resolution at its formal meeting, Tue., Aug. 16. Read the full story in the Register-Star.

Listen to the full Common Council discussion: