When you’re coming home from a night out, usually the safer choice is to say “I don’t think I can drive” and then throw the keys to your boyfriend—who’s sobered up. But in my case, perhaps a more capacitated driver could lead to a world of hurt.
The reason? My boyfriend is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. This means that every time he is in front of the wheel we run the risk of being pulled over and then leading to a series of very unfortunate events. I’ve had nightmares about this encounter and it would go something like this: he would be asked for a license and unable to give it he would be taken into custody, taken “downtown” and then pushed on the next bus to Mexico. But come August 1, I’ll be able to hand over the keys without the chance of a brain hemorrhage from panic every time.
Colorado has been at the forefront of immigration reform this year. After passing a bill in April allowing in-state tuition for immigrant, Colorado has become the eighth state to allow immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. According to the Associated Press, Gov. Hickenlooper signed the bill June 5 that come August 1 illegal immigrants will be able to apply for a driver’s license. The licenses will be labeled to determine that they are not valid for federal identification, obtain public benefits, be able to vote or board a plane.
In order for Colorado immigrants to obtain a driver’s license, they must take a driver’s license test, prove they’re paying taxes and have an identification card from their country of origin and would have to be renewed every three years.
With small steps comes equality and reform in Colorado; and only the Gang of Eight in the US Congress will tell if the nation will take after our state.