DENVER (CBS4)– A plan allowing illegal immigrants to get Colorado driver’s licenses is fighting for a spot on the November ballot.
Supporters of Initiative 52 kicked off their petition drive on Thursday. They believe it acknowledges that illegal immigration is an issue and gives the state a mechanism for tracking those who are undocumented.
“We are part of the solution. We are part of the society. We are not second-class citizens,” said Initiative 52 supporter Ignacio Ramirez.
Initiative 52 would give illegal immigrants the right to have a Colorado driver’s license provided they could prove residency in the state, a tax identification number and a legitimate ID from their country of origin.
“We are working in the restaurants, in the fields, we are not hiding from anyone,” said Ramirez.
Opponents do not agree with the proposal.
“It creates another incentive for people to come to Colorado or the United States illegally,” said Rep. Chris Holbert, a Republican representing Parker.
He believe it would create a mountain of problems for Colorado.
“People who are outside the United States looking to enter the country illegally, it would seem that Colorado would be at the top or near the top of where they’d like to get to,” said Holbert.
The campaign has 20,000 signatures so far on a petition to get the initiative on the ballot. It needs more than 86,000.
There is some Democratic support, but not much. A Democratic spokesman said if more Democrats supported the measure there wouldn’t be a dash to find signatures before the deadline in August.
Only New Mexico and Washington state allow illegal immigrants to drive. Utah has a special designated permit system.