News & Views

Support HB279 Driver’s Licenses for All – Sample Email

Dear HIAS PA Supporter,

We are asking you to send emails to the Transportation Committee members and Representatives in general in support of HB279 – Driver’s Licenses for All. Here is a sample email you can share with your networks and ask them to send them today! We want the Representatives to receive this email before the hearing tomorrow.

Email Sample:

I write in support of Driver’s Licenses for All in Pennsylvania. I do so because it is the sensible thing to do and because it will increase public safety for all.

Expanding licenses would be a source of economic growth to the state. Expanding access will generate millions of dollars annually for Pennsylvania and save motorists money. A 2019 analysis by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center found that the Commonwealth would receive an estimated $13 million in combined annual revenue in the first 3 years. See the report by visiting https://drivingpaforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Immigrant-Drivers-License-FINAL-20200922-1.pdf.

Expanding licenses would make Pennsylvania’s roads safer. Proper licensing is a practical way to improve public safety and strengthen trust between law enforcement and migrant communities. Legal licenses ensure that all drivers are properly licensed, are informed of traffic laws and operate a registered, insured and inspected vehicle. In 2003, New Mexico changed its policy, their rate of uninsured drivers fell from 33 percent to just 9 percent.

Expanding driver’s licenses would integrate migrants and immigrants in their communities.  Nearly 85,000 U.S. citizens in Pennsylvania live with at least one family member who is undocumented. Standard driver’s licenses allow individuals to drive and carry a valid ID for nonfederal purposes. A valid license allows those living in our communities to more fully participate in community life rather than live in isolation.

In rural Pennsylvania public transportation is not an option. Driving is a necessity, as much as a privilege. During the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of undocumented workers were part of the essential workforce that kept the PA economy running; most of those workers needed to drive to their jobs. One in four agricultural workers in PA is undocumented, and needs transportation. In some parts of the state during the pandemic, essential workers were provided printed letters with company letterhead declaring that they are workers in life sustaining jobs so that they get to and from their workplace. Undocumented immigrants contribute to all facets of Pennsylvania life, including financially. In 2018, undocumented immigrants in Pennsylvania paid an estimated $418.1 million in federal taxes and $238.3 million in state and local. The 2005 REAL ID Act allows for states to develop a multi-tier driver’s license system and be in compliance. It has been done in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and other 13 states around the country.

For all these reasons I support HB279 and urge you to support and vote YES on this bill!
Signed,
[Your name]
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