Richmond,VA -- Monica Sarmiento, the Executive Director of the Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights releases the following statement in regards to the passage of HB 1211, the driver’s privilege cards bill that would allow the 270,000 immigrants in Virginia the right to drive:
“The right to drive has been the number one issue for the immigrant community in Virginia. The newfound ability for immigrant families to drive to work, pick up their kids from school and get to the grocery store will make an immense impact on their day to day lives.
The fight has always been about improving the quality of life for immigrants. Although driver’s licenses is the equitable approach, driver’s privilege card accomplishes the overall goal of providing the undoucmented community the opportunity to drive with the necessary privacy protections.
Driver’s privilege cards will give many families the ability to have reliable transportation for the first time. It will help ease the minds of the families who worry that their loved one is not coming home due to driving without a license or being pulled over at a routine traffic stop.
The unity from many organizations and advocates from across Virginia to rally, make phone calls, email their legislators, host vigils and march to support issues for the right to drive has given many immigrant families hope and a new found support system. We are looking forward to continuing our work to protect the rights of the immigrant and refugee community.”
Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of organizations that exists to win dignity, power and quality of life for all immigrant and refugee communities.