FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Community Meeting to Restore Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Workers

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Community members in Menasha listened in while speakers weighed in on restoring driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants

Some proponents would like driver’s licenses restored because of inadequate public transportation.

“Especially in Wisconsin there is not so many buses that can take you to different places, so they [undocumented workers] are forced to take their own cars and drive.”

Maria Lopez, ESTHER Advocacy Group

At a time where Appleton is struggling to find employees, Mayor Timothy Hanna expressed support to restore licenses.

“We are living in a time when the number one issue for business is finding people. So, when you have people who are willing and able and want to work; fearful it doesn’t help our businesses.”

Appleton Mayor Timothy Hanna

For the welfare of residents, law enforcement voiced support to restore licenses.

“For the safety purpose of it, they’re [undocumented workers] going to have to know the rules of the road. They’re going to have to get insurance and right now that’s really not an opportunity.”

Lieutenant Adam Schulz, Menasha Police Department

A common opposition to restoring licenses is that it lessens the chances of undocumented residents will follow immigration laws and could lead to increased benefit and voter fraud.

“Alot of people think a person who has driver’s license can go and get benefits from the government or they can go and choose a president for the  next election and that’s not true. The purpose is just for driving around and be safe on the road.”

Maria Lopez, ESTHER Advocacy Group

Wisconsin previously allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, but after the federal government enacted REAL ID, that practice was stopped.

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