'Day without immigrants march' for licenses for undocumented immigrants
ELKHART, Ind.--Marches for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants are happening all across the country Wednesday.
In Elkhart, Movimiento Cosecha, immigrant leaders and and community members walked forty minutes from 317 West Lusher Ave in Elkhart to the Elkhart Civic Plaze to rally to send that message.
“As immigrants in Elkhart, we contribute to the economy, contribute with our labor. Really all aspects of life here in the community," said Movimiento Cosecha community organizer, Jose Alvarez.
Their message, undocumented immigrants drive the country economically, so they should be able to drive too.
In fact, 16 percent of the population in Elkhart county is Hispanic.
“They contribute a lot and get very little back and so they need the support in a lot of different ways," said protester, Ray Hunsberger.
They’re asking for something that could remove the stress of simply driving to work, or dropping their kids off at school.
A legal Indiana driver’s license, despite not being citizens.
"We wont give up until something is done and permanent protection is afforded to all our community so that we can live safely here in this country," said Alvarez.
According to Indiana State Police, Elkhart County ranks 3rd in the state with 905 drivers pulled over, then ticketed for unlicensed driving. Only behind Lake and Marion counties.
To put that into perspective, Elkhart county has almost five times fewer people than Marion county.
The special license would be a variation of a traditional Indiana drivers license.
It would allow a resident to drive in the confines of the state, similar to laws already passed in 12 other states across the country.
“We believe that our political leaders lack the political pressure to do that. So we’re here to build momentum towards that and get something like that passed here in Indiana," said Alvarez.
"From now on, our community is going to take matters into our own hands. We know what we live through every single day, so we also know the solutions. Who knows better what our community needs than us.”