RICHMOND – This afternoon, the Senate Transportation Committee killed the only pro-immigrant bill to make it through the House. Delegate Ron Villanueva’s (R-Virginia Beach) HB 2020 would have expanded the categories of immigrants who are in the Commonwealth legally who can obtain a driver's license. The bill failed to report on a party line, 8-7 vote.
Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “There’s a lot of potential harm being done by not going down this path. Folks who are here legally are driving without licenses. Some of these people come from countries where driving is a very different experience and we have no idea if they know the rules of the road.”
Said Senator Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax), “We are not trying to do the job of the federal government. The people who would have been affected by this bill have already been thoroughly vetted at the federal level. They are here legally and have been granted admission to our borders under federal law. They want to work and they want to be contributing members of our communities. In order to do those things, they need to be able to drive. We should grant them that privilege. What kind of country are we becoming?”
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