State Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, State Senate Majority Leader
State Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas
A new law gives immigrants who are in the country illegally the opportunity to become authorized drivers.
Champions of the drivers authorization card say it will improve traffic safety for all Nevadans.
“There’s approximately 100,000 people in the state of Nevada who are driving illegally or who don’t have documents,” says State Senator Ruben Kihuen. “How can we give them an opportunity to drive legally in the streets to make our roads safer?”
Senator Kihuen and Senator Mo Denis, the bill’s sponsor, will hold a public meeting this week to talk about how the cards work. Not so much to “sell” the plan, Denis says, but to explain it.
“You have folks on one side who said ‘why are we giving privileges to individuals who are not here in the country legally?’” says Denis. “And on the other side we had individuals say ‘why would I want to put my name in a database for the government to track me down?’”
Sen. Denis says having the ability to drive legally will help the individuals who move to this country find and keep work.
“They want to have their children educated, and they want to participate and they want to pay taxes,” says Denis.
Drivers will have to be insured and pass a driver's test to receive a card, which must be renewed annually.