Thousands of Illegal Immigrants in Delaware Seek "Driving Cards"
Melvin Collins, of Sussex County, thinks everyone deserves an equal opportunity. "Give 'em a chance. Let 'em live and let live, just like anybody else."
The Delaware State Legislature began accepting applications for the new "driving card" in December. It looks just like a regular driver's license, but cannot be used as a valid form of identification.
Ted Murphy, an immigration attorney in Georgetown, says, "This is not the normal process to get a driver's license that you and I went through."
The card is a "golden ticket" for undocumented migrants. It gives them a legal way to drive.
Monserrat Matos works as a bilingual victims advocate at La Esperanza Community Center in Georgetown. She says illegal immigrants should be treated just like anyone else. "There's many undocumented immigrants in Delaware that live normal lives like anyone else would.. and part of being in Delaware is that you have to drive everywhere."
Although many immigrants are eligible to apply for the new driving card, Murphy says that some are too afraid to speak up. "They're afraid to come forward to the Federal Immigration authorities and file applications. They're afraid to be deported."
Applicants have to prove they've paid Delaware taxes for at least two years, send their fingerprints to state police, and show valid identification from their home countries--
--But still, some Delaware residents are not on board.
Tim Harper, of Millsboro, thinks they should be legalized first. "I think there's too many illegals as there is driving without licenses, so let's make sure you can't get one unless you go through the process to be legal first."
Others think the driving card will ultimately make the roads safer, like Matos. "Their knowledge about the road and just the conditions in general is much higher, so it makes the roads safer."