MAYOR JOHN DESTEFANO, JR. COMMENDS THE STATE SENATE PASSAGE OF A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW IMMIGRANTS OF ANY STATUS TO OBTAIN A DRIVERS LICENSE
(New Haven, CT) – New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. issued the following statement regarding the passing of a bill, in the Connecticut State Senate, which would grant immigrants of any status the ability to obtain a driver’s license:
“I commend the leadership of State Senator Martin Looney for his work on this bill and acknowledge the efforts of the numerous groups that have worked on this issue including the Connecticut Immigration Rights Alliance, Mayors, residents and others.
This legislation will improve public safety statewide, as the Elm City Resident Card did in New Haven. In 2007, in an effort to address key public safety concerns and be a more welcoming community, the City of New Haven began to issue the Elm City ID, a municipal identification card that gives residents access to city services, the ability to open bank
accounts and more importantly – helps establish a sense of community connection and identity. In the five years since its inception more than 10,000 cards have been issued, with 10-12 residents getting IDs every week.
One of the most telling effects of the card has been the improved relationships and trust with the police department. We have seen increases in reporting of crime and a greater willingness to cooperate with officers.
Like the municipal ID, granting immigrants driver licenses regardless of immigration status is good policy. Drivers’ licenses will reduce the number of uninsured motorists on the road and will establish training and testing standards to ensure driver safety. Moreover, like the Elm City ID, drivers’ licenses can help connect immigrants with banking services to help reduce street crime, increase the reporting of crime and help to create a sense of community identity.”