Advocates call for support of migrant workers ahead of NYS Fair

August 21, 2018 08:00 PM

On the eve of the NYS Fair, advocates are calling for support for migrant workers.

“It is hard to see the celebration of our agricultural industry without seeing and recognizing the force behind our agriculture engine in this region,” stated Carly Fox with the Worker Justice Center of New York.


Board of Education Commissioner Beatriz LeBron added, “There is rarely a piece of fruit or produce your family eats that has not been touched by the hand of a migrant worker.”

Fox and Commissioner LeBron stood alongside Rochester City Council members on the steps of City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

They are supporting the Green Light New York: Driving Together Campaign which was started two years ago. The group is focusing on expanding the access of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. 

According to the campaign, there are 752,000 undocumented immigrant New Yorkers over the age of 16 who are currently barred from obtaining driver’s licenses due to their immigration status.

The campaign states that New York State and county governments will receive an estimated $57-million in combined annual revenue. It also states that licensing undocumented immigrant drivers will help lower car insurance premiums for all residents.

“This effort aims to ensure that all drivers are tested on the rules of the road thus, making our streets safer for all,” stated city council member and event organizer Jackie Ortiz in a press release.

The campaign added, “Access to driver’s licenses will allow undocumented immigrants to drive to work, worship, school, and in emergencies without the increased risk of arrest and deportation. Previously, fearful undocumented community members will be more likely to participate in and contribute to local community life.”

The group is calling on Albany to take action during the next session.


Stephanie Robusto

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