As we organize to winning unmarked driver’s licenses for all immigrants in Pennsylvania, we are also working locally to combat discriminatory towing of undocumented peoples’ cars in Philadelphia by changing the “Live Stop” program. One of the top reasons our immigrant members chose to work on the state-wide campaign for driver’s licenses for all is to stop towing, and working on the Live Stop campaign is another way to win this community chosen demand.

We are happy to have worked with the Sheller Center for Social Justice at the Temple University Beasley School of Law on a report about this devastating law entitled “Live Stop: A Law of Unintended Consequences.” You can read the full report in English here and the Spanish version of the report here. You can also read the shorter fact sheet here in English and Spanish here in Spanish. We thank the Sheller Center for their collaboration.

Live Stop is a Pennsylvania state law that only applies to Philadelphia and allows the police to immobilize cars for certain traffic violations, including for driving without a license. While the law states that cars should only tow cars only if it threatens public safety, the Philadelphia Police Department’s policy is to immediately tow undocumented people’s cars, going far beyond the state law’s requirements. Nearly half a million drivers in the city have had their cars towed through Live Stop since 2002, and it costs approximately $700 – $1,000 to recuperate the car, an enormous amount for low income families.

This law has a devastating impact on undocumented immigrants, who are barred from obtaining driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania because they do not have the required social security number. The loss of a car through towing means the driver may have trouble to getting to work, hospital, and school.

Check out this feed for the most recent campaign activity: