Coalition calls for legal driving among undocumented in Nevada
A coalition of advocates wants Nevada lawmakers to approve a measure allowing undocumented residents to legally drive in the state.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A coalition of advocates wants Nevada lawmakers to approve a measure allowing undocumented residents to legally drive in the state.
New America Organization, which describes itself as conservative but non-partisan, supports a driver's privilege card. The program would allow undocumented immigrants to legally drive and purchase vehicle insurance.
The proposal would require applicants to take part in the same process to obtain a driver's license, but Innis said the driver's privilege card is not a license and could not be used as identification. Supporters said they hope a Nevada law would mimic a Utah law passed in 2005.
"We all drive the roads," said Niger Innis, spokesman for Congress of Racial Equality and supporter of the proposal. "We don't check IDs to get into a car so it's a public safety issue for all the citizens of Nevada."
Currently, undocumented drivers cannot purchase insurance, often leaving the victims of car accidents to pay the costs, Innis said.
"I end up paying the consequences. I got total damage close to $10 thousand," said Juan Santos, a licensed truck driver from Las Vegas who said he was in an accident with an unlicensed and uninsured driver several years ago.
The coalition said some Democrats and Republicans have indicated support, but opponents said not so fast.
"Anyone in this country working and driving and using all of our benefits here should also be legal residents - should just go through the same process that everyone normally has to go through to be a legal citizen," said Robert Meade of Las Vegas, though Meade said whether the driver was licensed in another country could impact his opinion.
Solveig Boulter said she arrived in the United States from Norway as a teenager. Boulter said she went through the process of becoming an American citizen.
"I think people that come here should follow the same rules and regulations that are required to enter the country," Boulter said.
State lawmakers could possibly discuss the issue when they return to session in February in Carson City.