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VT Senate considers driver's licenses for migrant workers

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A bill in the Vermont Senate would allow migrant farm workers access to driver's licenses.

Vermont is home to approximately 1500 migrant workers - many of whom don't have legal status. They live and work on dairy farms throughout the state.

And as a study commissioned by the legislature last year found out, it's hard for migrant workers to get to the doctor and the grocery store without a driver's license.

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Reported by

Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

Now, there's a bill in the Senate that would allow Vermont residents who aren't US citizens to get drivers' licenses and non-driver IDs, regardless of their legal status.

It requires applicants to give their name, date, and place of birth, and to prove that they're Vermont residents.

The driver's license would look different from a regular license, and applicants would have to pass a driver's test and pay a fee in order to get one.

Natalia Fajardo is an organizer with Migrant Justice, an advocacy group.

She says that while ideally migrant workers could get regular drivers' licenses, the two-license proposal will work.

"So we embrace it because it doesn't exclude our undocumented community in Vermont, and it definitely provides major relief," Fajardo said.

The bill has passed in the Senate Transportation and Finance committees. The Senate will vote on it next week. If passed, it will move to the House.

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