Saturday, March 22, 2014–More than 200 people marched in downtown Raleigh, NC to demand driver licenses for all North Carolinians and safer roads in NC. Waving signs that read “United for licenses and safer roads,” and “Drivers licenses now” undocumented immigrants and allies marched together to demand that Governor Pat McCrory and the NC Legislature grant undocumented immigrants the right to obtain a driver’s license.
The event was organized by Fuerza y Libertad, a community organization dedicated to building power within the Latino Community in Eastern North Carolina and fighting for fair and just policies for the all immigrants.
On the way to the Governor’s mansion, the march stopped at other influential businesses including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, where they asked that these two institutions support the undocumented community by pressuring NC lawmakers on this issue.
At the Governor’s mansion several people gave personal testimony as to how being denied a driver’s license has affected their ability to safely drive to and from work, their children’s schools, doctor appointments, etc.
When the march reached the NC General Assembly, CJ Stephens, who works for the State Employees Association of NC and is a former Highway patrol Officer spoke in support of driver licenses for all. “It would make it a whole lot safer for us, for law enforcement, if you did have a driver’s license because you have to go through the training to have [one],” Stephens said. “To get a driver’s license in North Carolina, you have to take a reading test, an eye examination and a driving test, in addition to establishing your legal residence in the U.S.”
The march ended at the NC Capitol Grounds where the group pledged to continue pushing for safer roads and fair policies for all. “[translated] we will come to the NC General Assembly, talk to our legislators, and if possible meet with the governor, ” Santiago Ponce, a leader of Fuerza y Libertad and an associate member of FLOC announced. “We will not give this effort up.”