Dozens of illegal immigrants rallied on the steps of the state Capitol Monday. They’re fighting for the right to get a Pennsylvania driver’s license, in support of House Bill 1648.
If the bill passes, it would affect hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the state who say they need this state ID, and they need to legally drive. But Republicans say it’s not the state’s job to allow that.
At the rally, undocumented immigrants and their families – including their children – spoke out about how the bill would change their lives.
“There are a lot of people out there hoping and praying that this bill is passed,” says Chelsea Bonilla, whose husband cannot legally drive because of his undocumented status. “Not only for their own benefits, but for the benefit of their families and the safety of millions of people.”
Supporters sang songs, chanting “Si se puede,” and many of the remarks were in Spanish.
“It’s a right for us to have a driver’s license,” says supporter Jose Luna. “We need to drive, we need to bring the bacon, we need to eat, we need to work, we pay taxes.”
But opponents say it shouldn’t be the state’s job to legitimize illegal immigrants with a state ID. Steve Miskin, press secretary for house majority leader, state Rep. Mike Turzai (R-28th), says most Republicans will not support this bill and it should be up to the federal government to decide the issue.