The bills, currently still without numbers, would seek to allow recipients of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to keep their drivers license when the DACA program lapses in March after the Trump administration ordered the program ended earlier this year.
“It seems we have policies and laws coming out of Washington that seem to want to blame immigrants for every thing wrong with this country, rather than embrace immigrants that have built this country,” said Assemblyman Supulveda.
“The current permission to obtain a driver’s license must be kept in place when the federal government ends the program in early March of 2018,” added Sepulveda. “It’s time for New York state to walk the talk on protecting DACA recipients when the program ends.”
A second bill proposed by Assemblyman Sepulveda would make DACA recipients eligible for the newly implemented Excelsior Scholarship, which offers free tuition to SUNY schools contingent on recipients remaining in New York for a set amount of time.
More than 50,000 DACA recipients reside in New York state; allowing them to receive driver’s licenses is an integral part of what makers “Dreamers” functioning and contributing members of society, allowing them to seek employment, land better jobs and ultimately, pay into the tax system, says Sepulveda and the bill supporters.
The bills will be introduced during the upcoming session and the sponsors hope to have these laws in place by the time DACA lapses in March.