An organization of Connecticut religious congregations has succeeded in gaining approval for the children of illegal immigrants to obtain legal drivers’ licenses through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, or DACA, President Obama’s 2012 executive order that protects young people who were brought to the United States illegally from deportation.
CONECT, Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, celebrated this victory on Sunday, Three Kings Day, at St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, the group announced that it would be introducing a bill to the Connecticut legislature to permit illegal immigrants to apply for, and receive, drivers’ licenses, register their vehicles, and obtain insurance.
The organization states that about 54,000 Connecticut residents who are required to drive to work or take children to school cannot get licenses because they are in the United States illegally.
The co-chairs of CONECT are Rev. Dr. Anthony Bennett, pastor of Mount Aery Baptist Church, Bridgeport, and Rev. James Manship, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, New Haven. The central focus of this non-profit community organization is to seek social justice. According to the group’s website, the founders believed their charitable work in their churches and synagogues had not been successful in their communities:
The expansion of economic and social suffering for more and more CT residents of all backgrounds and socio-economic levels, urged CONECT founders to organize together for power to achieve higher level and broader change. The time was now to participate directly in policies to correct and prevent unnecessary burdens on individuals, families and working people.
Democrat lawmakers in the state senate say it is a “win-win” to allow people in the country illegally to obtain drivers’ licenses. They cite that Connecticut would receive $2 million in state revenues from new car registration fees, and $20 million in new premiums for insurance companies. They also expressed their belief that, as a result of this legislation, when illegal immigrants are involved in car accidents, they would be more likely to remain on the scene and cooperate with police.