AP NEWS

The Latest: Thousands rally for immigrant driver’s licenses

May 1, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin immigrant rally for driver’s licenses (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Thousands of immigrants and their supporters have converged on the Wisconsin Capitol to urge Republican support for making driver’s licenses available to all, including people living in the country illegally.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has a driver’s license proposal in his state budget, but he says Republicans will kill it.

Madison police say the rally attracted 4,000 people. They filled the sidewalks around one entrance to the building, carrying signs saying “Driver’s Licenses for All.”

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway spoke to the crowd in Spanish, saying it was “common sense” to make driver’s licenses available to all. She says it makes communities safer and allows immigrants to drop off their children at school and drive to work without fear of being pulled over and detained.

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8:37 a.m.

Immigrants and their supporters were converging on the Wisconsin Capitol as part of a nationwide day of action to rally for a Gov. Tony Evers proposal to make driver’s licenses available to people who are living in the country illegally.

Rally organizer Voces de la Frontera says that tens of thousands of people are on strike Wednesday, forcing more than 175 businesses to close. Thousands are expected for the annual May 1 rally.

The push this year is for Evers’ driver’s license proposal.

Immigrants without proper documentation could receive driver’s licenses in Wisconsin until 2007. That’s when the Legislature changed the law to require residents to prove they were in the United States legally.

Evers says his proposal to make the licenses available is common sense, but he also expects Republicans who control the Legislature to block it.