The Mountain Times

°F Mon, April 21, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Drivers licenses should be a right for all, regardless of citizenship

Dear Editor,

All Vermonters who are able to drive cars deserve the opportunity to earn drivers licenses - regardless of where they were born or their citizenship status. It's perfectly legal and shouldn't even be an issue.

I grew up in Massachusetts and lived in Pennsylvania and Maine before moving to Vermont several months ago to take a job with a non-profit in Montpelier. It seems so arbitrary to me that, while nobody questions my right to drive, other folks who are new to Vermont are denied this basic right just because they come from a little farther away.

When hardworking undocumented Vermonters are prohibited from getting licenses, in practical terms, this means that if they are caught behind the steering wheel, our government will punish them just for traveling to the doctor's office, the grocery store or even taking a simple trip to see family. Vermont was built by immigrants, both documented and undocumented, and today, so much of the essential and difficult work that sustains Vermont's rich agricultural tradition is being done by people from other countries. The last thing we should be doing is punishing these people - is that really how Vermonters want to treat their new neighbors?

Personally, I'd rather see my new legislators vote to make sure that my tax dollars go toward making sure that everybody driving in Vermont is registered. It's the only way to keep our roads safe and fair.

Rob Korobkin, Barre, Vt.