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Advocates push for a law that would give restricted driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants

Knar Bedian

Going to work, picking up a prescription, buying groceries, and driving back home are normal tasks for many Americans. But in places with few public transportation options, these simple errands are challenging without a driver's license.

That's why an Idaho organization is campaigning to allow undocumented immigrants to receive a restricted driver’s license.

PODER of Idaho launched the Manejado Sin Miedo, or “driving without fear” campaign. It aims to encourage Idaho legislators to vote for the Restricted License Bill.

Eric Medina is the project's lead organizer.

“Currently, Idaho is in a position where we're surrounded by states like Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, and Utah that have driver's licenses for undocumented folks who allow them to transport themselves to and from work safely," Medina said.

Medina said the proposed driver's licenses would have restrictions. For example, the license couldn’t be used as an ID for voting or for Gold Star traveling.

Right now, the state requires a birth certificate, a Social Security number, or proof of residency to get a driver’s license. So, those who do not have those documents cannot receive a license.

“The fear of your parents getting home safely is a fear that all of us have," said Medina. "But this is a way to reduce one of those fears, the real fear of the possibility of deportation.”

PODER has an online petition for the public to sign virtually in favor of the proposed bill.

The Senate Transportation Committee killed the most recent version of the bill in 2021.

I'm Richard and I started in 2022 as a summer intern. I graduated from University of Idaho in 2023 and am working as a newsroom assistant. Currently, I am doing stories on a variety of subjects to get a better understanding of different beats. However, I would love to cover stories about diverse issues.

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