By: Christine Souders
Even though they're legally allowed to work in the U.S., Iowa's DOT said illegal immigrants with temporary work permits, can't get driver's licenses, and it's putting Quad Citians in a tough position.
It's a Catch 22 for illegal immigrants living in Iowa. For some, not having a license could mean losing their jobs, for others, they can't get jobs if they don't have a way to get there.
One Davenport woman said she feels she has one of two options; lose her job, or break the law.
Nancy is a 26-year-old Hispanic immigrant who lives in Davenport. She chose not to show her face on camera, but she said just when she was about to get her driver's license, she was hit with some disappointing news, "I was in complete shock, knowing that we are now being protected by this change and now we are getting our licenses revoked and some of us will not have the chance to even apply for a license."
Nancy said a huge weight was lifted off of hers, and her families' shoulders when a new federal law took effect in June, allowing illegal immigrants to work in the U.S. if they were brought here as kids.
But she doesn't know how she can work without being able to get there, "I feel like, I'm going be forced to break the law because I have to drive, I have to get to work, I have to pay my bills, I have to be the breadwinner for my family."
Michael Woods with Casa Guanajuato Quad Cities wrote a letter addressed to Iowa Lawmakers, urging them to do something for thousands of illegal immigrants faced with the same problems, "Our hope is to fight for them to be able to say, this is inappropriate, let's make sure we stand up for their rights and let's make sure they have the right that once they have the permit to work, to get to work."
Woods said allowing undocumented immigrants to drive, will also make the roads safer, "Protect the safety of all drivers, irrespectable of their status, let's make sure everyone that's on our roads driving safely, have the proper documentation and most of all are licensed and insured to be able to drive in the state."
"They will have a better control of just everybody," said Nancy.
In Illinois, the Senate passed a bill allowing all illegal immigrants to apply for a license, they're now waiting for the House to vote on it.