FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For interviews and press inquiries
Nicole Kligerman, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
Joint Press Conference at Harrisburg Capitol Building:
Legislators, Immigrant Rights Groups Celebrate Introduction of Pennsylvania Bill for
Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants
Who: State representatives supporting legislation, immigrant rights groups
When: Thursday, July 23 from 3:00pm – 3:30pm
Where: Rotunda steps in Pennsylvania Capitol Building, Harrisburg
Harrisburg, PA – On Thursday, July 23, state legislators and immigrant rights groups across Pennsylvania will hold a press conference celebrating the introduction of legislation that would provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in Pennsylvania. The legislation, House Bill 1450, was introduced by Representative Mark Cohen (D) into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. on July 10 with 19 legislative co-sponsors.
Pennsylvania is now positioned to become the 13th state to expand driver’s license eligibility to undocumented people. Immigrants from Harrisburg, Chambersburg, York, Reading, Mount Joy, Philadelphia, and Allentown will be present to support the introduction.
“This is another step forward to bring undocumented people onto a path to citizenship. It is my hope that the House and Senate give this proposal the consideration it deserves,” said Representative Cohen.
A farmworker and immigrant from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Esvin Maldonado reflects on his need for a driver’s license. “I live in Franklin County where there is no public transportation, and my work day starts at 2 am. I need a driver’s license for basic things, like working, going grocery shopping, and identifying myself,” he said.
There are approximately 200,000 undocumented people in Pennsylvania who face the consequences of driving without a license and not having a valid form of identification on a daily basis. Such consequences include difficulty getting to work, school, hospitals, and even deportation.
“An enormous goal of the immigrant community is getting a driver’s license,” said Maria Turcios, a Community Organizer at New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and an immigrant from Honduras who has lived in Pennsylvania for over twenty years. “We’re going to keep fighting until we achieve this goal.”
The Alianza Pro Licencias PA (Alliance for Licenses PA), a coalition of community based groups championing the bill, celebrates the introduction of HB1450 and looks forward to working with the Transportation Committee in the House of Representatives to make sure it reaches the House floor this legislative session.
The Alianza Pro Licencias PA (Alliance for Licenses PA) is: Fight for Driver’s Licenses PA is a grassroots network of immigrants organizing across Pennsylvania for driver’s licenses for undocumented Pennsylvanians. New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia is an interfaith, multicultural immigrant justice organization. CASA is an immigrant rights organization that works throughout the East Coast.
The campaign for driver’s licenses for all is endorsed by the following: Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez, Phila. Democratic nominee for City Council At-Large Helen Gym, HIAS Pennsylvania, Indochinese American Council, Keystone Progress, Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano , Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, Inc, Casa de la Cultura, Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC), Coalition of African Communities in Philadelphia (AFRICOM), The Aquinas Center, 1 Love Movement, Friends of Farmworkers, Nationalities Services Center, Japanese American Citizens League, Migrant Power Movement, Put People First PA, Decarcerate PA, Case San Jose, Erie Benedictines for Peace, Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN), Carmona Construction and Cleaning Services, La Olanchana Honduran Restaurant,
Mixtequita Poblana Restaurant.