Strong majority against drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants - 1104 participants, 2142 responses

Aug 21, 2016

Currently, 12 states plus the District of Columbia allow illegal immigrants to acquire drivers’ licenses or alternative driver authorization cards if they can provide documentation such as a foreign birth certificate, passport, or consular card and evidence that they currently reside in the state. New Hampshire does not currently issue driving privileges to undocumented immigrants. On August 21, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses?”

“Should NH allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 87% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 13% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 2,142 responses from 1,104 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A strong majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 96%, did not support allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.

  •  “Licenses are a privilege... ‘Illegal’ means you did not follow the rules and do not have that right or privilege.”
  • “No. Why should we make it easier for them? They came here illegally.”
  • “Absolutely not. If they are illegal, they should be arrested and turned over to the feds.”

Yes: A minority, at 4% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses.

  • "They're going to drive anyway. Best to make sure they are safe by licensing them.”
  • “There are many undocumented immigrants coming to the USA who are in the process of becoming citizens...  If driving means that that individual can work and be a contributing member of our society, I say yes.”
  • “It’s the best way to keep track so we know who is and who isn't going through the proper processes to be here legally.”

Other: As noted above, 13% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Questioning how undocumented immigrants could secure a drivers’ license: “When I got mine, they asked for a birth certificate and a SSN. How would the person get around that law?”
  • Expressing concern at the logic behind such legislation: “They can apply for a drivers’ license but not for citizenship? Doesn't that seem a little shady?”
  • Broadening the discussion: “I'd like to know they can drive safely and can read the road signs and obey our laws. If they are not legal citizens, then the ID should also be significantly different to easily identify [them] as such.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Should NH allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers’ licenses? Leave a comment and have your say! 

 

 

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