At a recent meeting in East Hampton called in suport of bias - crime victim Luis Ochoa several speakers talked about the problem of drivers' licenses for local immigrant workers.
One young woman reported being caught in a 'dragnet' in Wainscott where (only) Latinos/Latinas were pulled over for a license check. Another speaker who conducts ESL classes said although there are many eager students for these classes, lately some students are unable to get to classes due lack of transportation.
The "Real ID" legislation apparently being passed in Congress may make it harder than ever for immigrants to get on the road legally and recent New York State legislation requires several IDs be submitted for those without green cards and has caused concern in the immigrant community.
But there may be good news! New legislation has been introduced in Congress by Senators McCain and Kennedy. The Long Island Immigrant Alliance called a news conference this week to publicize the legislation and called for support of the bill while asking for certain improvements to protect the rights of workers.
The McCain/Kennedy bill has provisions that allow employers to get the workers they legitimately need by allowing more workers to come to the U.S. legally to work, and at the same time, it gives immigrants a chance to gain permanent residency and eventually citizenship.
more info: New York Immigrant Coalition 212-627-2227