DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a push to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to get Colorado driver’s licenses and on Monday supporters rallied outside a Division of Motor Vehicles office in Denver.
The demonstrators say it is too hard for immigrants to get driver’s licenses and they’re working to change that.
Part of the problem is that not many offices can’t handle the requests. Originally there were five offices, but that number was reduced to one because of a fight over funding in the Legislature. Now there are three offices and pro-immigrant groups say it’s not enough.
A law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a Colorado driver’s license has been controversial from the start. Two years since Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the law, the fight over funding for the program continues.
“It’s been fumbled both by the legislators and the DMV and the (Department of Revenue) … it really has just become a mess,” Victor Galvan with the Immigrant Rights Coalition said.
It’s a self-funding program, but when the Department of Revenue asked to access the $166,000 raised by licensing fees the Joint Budget Committee denied their request.
CBS4 spoke with Senate President Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs, when the issue was up for discussion earlier this year.
“The turnaround for this is the accountability that has been promised for the program that was lacking before,” Cadman said. “I think the turnaround for this is the equity in the payment.”
Eventually lawmakers reached an agreement allowing partial access to the money.
A group of pro-immigrant organizations are now banding together hoping a new campaign will help persuade lawmakers.
“We need it for a 160,000 people across the state of Colorado,” Galvan said.
Thousands of driver’s licenses have already been issued through the program. The three offices currently operating are in Denver, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs.