1199SEIU endorses Green Light NY bill

June 3, 2019

New York — As the state legislature considers a bill that would grant access to drivers licenses for all New York residents, 1199SEIU has added its voice to activist and immigrant rights groups to support the Green Light NY Bill. The bill would specifically allow undocumented workers to receive driver’s licenses.

Union members understand the hardship that workers have when they can’t get back and forth to their jobs without fear of being stopped. The basic necessities of life are in many cases out of reach.

1199SEIU believes fairness and equity demand that driver’s license access must be available to all. Union Political Director Gabby Seay says it’s about fairness and common sense.

“As frontline caregivers, we understand the importance of ensuring safe, reliable transportation on our roadways," Seay says. "Unfortunately, we also see the consequences of delayed medical care after an accident, due to a lack of documentation.

"The Green Light NY bill would allow undocumented residents to come out of the shadows and become full participants in the state’s economy by obtaining the drivers licenses needed to travel to and from work.

"To date, 13 other states, as diverse as California and Utah, have seen the light, and have granted licenses to undocumented residents. Now is the time for New York to become a progressive national leader on this life-saving issue. We cannot afford to wait.”

The Green Light Bill is currently in the State Senate, where it needs 32 votes to pass. If enacted, it would give about 265,000 New Yorkers access to obtain drivers’ licenses.