Hispanic group fights for the right to drive - WNEM TV 5

Hispanic group fights for the right to drive

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Last year, President Barack Obama signed an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants the right to work -- it was and remains a controversial move -- but some here in Michigan are hitting a snag in their efforts to find work, and now one group is working to change that.

The Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan is getting ready for a political battle.

You may remember the Obama administration last year gave undocumented Latino students the opportunity to reach the American dream of having a job. Given that chance by federal law, many did just that, and they sought out and received the proper paperwork like a Social Security card.

Hispanic/Latino Vice-Commissioner Gilberto Guevara, with the Saginaw branch, says there's one more hurtle at the state level.

"The problem we're having is the state of Michigan, through the Secretary of State's office, is not allowing them to have a driver's license," said Guevara.

This situation has the commission's attention in the upcoming legislative year. They formed a task force to call on lawmakers, the secretary of state and the attorney general. They expect a tough fight ahead.

"Our kids are now graduating from high school or are in high school, we're talking age 16 to 30. They need to drive to work and drive to school," said Guevara. "They need a license to get work. I think the fight is going to be a tough one."

The group has eight new commissioners. They held a meeting in Bay City that was coupled with a retreat designed to get everybody on the same page.

The group's other focus this year will be addressing the school drop-out rates among the Latino and Hispanic population.

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