Undocumented immigrant obtains driving permit in Monroe County

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The controversial green light law went into effect today in New York. It has sparked lawsuits from a number of counties, including Monroe. But while those decisions play out in court — undocumented immigrants welcome the new law.

News 8 spoke with an undocumented immigrant who is currently in the process of obtaining her residency in the country and did not want to show her face. Her name is Mia, a Mexican national who has lived in Monroe county for 20 years. She says she can now drive without any fear. 

“I’m happy and satisfied to be given the opportunity to drive legally with tranquility. It helps those who are in need to drive their children to the doctors office or the grocery store,” said Mia. 

Mia will have to take additional driving classes before taking the driving test.  The law has come under fire by many county clerks across New York State.

The Worker Justice Center in Rochester has been fighting for this right for years.

“It’s a lot of miscommunication about the reality of the law. This law has been in effect in 14 other states, so New York is not the only one,” said Irene Sanchez, Director of Outreach and Education at the Worker Justice Center. “We had it in the past. I think this is really just a good opportunity to give public safety to everyone who lives in our community whether they’re undocumented or not. everybody should have the right to be mobile, especially those who live in isolated areas.” 

For Mia, she says obtaining a driver’s license will show is the community that immigrants are willing to contribute to society. 

“For us it’ll be safer for people living in this country and we are just people who want to work and move our families forward,” said Mia. 

According to Mia, she never had a traffic stop or a problem during her time living here. She said back in 1999 she was able to get a driver’s license through her tourist passport but couldn’t renew it after 9/11.

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