Ability to drive in USA

After months of cacophonous political debate, the voices considering giving driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants have fallen abruptly silent. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's license plan was rejected across the board politically, and stirred up tumultuous reactions from presidential candidates and congressmen alike.

Underneath and often silenced by the political clamor are the stories of people like Lima, whose lives would be transformed by the ability to drive legally. Like many, Lima has watched the politics unfold with ebbing hope, and is crestfallen that the change he was praying for has not come.

Those working with communities of undocumented immigrants say that necessity often forces people into driving with no license. Ramona Ortega is the daughter of Mexican immigrants whose activist parents raised her in the midst of the Chicano movement in California.

She is the founder of a non-profit organization turned to the Brazilian immigrants in the United States called Cidadão Global, meaning "global citizen" in Portuguese. As her 4-year-old son maneuvered himself on her lap, she explained the difficulties faced by the Brazilian community in particular: "The drivers license issue is huge."

The most concentrated numbers of Brazilian immigrants are in smaller cities such as Danbury, Connecticut; Framingham, Massachusetts or Deerfield Beach, Florida. In these places, Ortega says, "You have to drive to get anywhere, so your livelihood depends on the process of driving - that's basic. So when you don't have a driver's license you are putting yourself at risk every day just to make a living."

The fear of being pulled over or getting into a car accident is very real, says Alessandro Pereira, a Brazilian immigrant who has been in the United States for nine years.

"Sometimes people, they get in accidents because of that, because they are scared of everything. Or if they get into an accident they are going to run, they are going to leave the person there. They are not going to call 911, because they know they would be in trouble not just because of being responsible for an accident, but because they didn't have a license," he said.

0 comentários:

Postar um comentário

©2009 Sotaque Brasil | by TNB