South Bend Common Council passes drivers card resolution
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The South Bend Common Council passed the drivers card resolution Monday night in support of undocumented residents. The chamber was full of dreamers who say they feel scared every time they get behind the wheel.
“Muchas veces salimos de la casa sin pensar que o a veces pensamos si volvemos o no volvemos o a veces volvemos con un ticket o a veces mas que un ticket," said Milton Chincilla, a resident.
“He says sometimes we leave our homes and we don’t even know how we’ll return we might have a ticket or we might not return or more than a ticket," said Mina Mencias, a resident.
Chincilla is like many residents here in South Bend who fear red and blue lights flashing behind him when driving, but for him it’s a different kind of fear, a fear of being deported for not having a valid driver’s license.
“He says it might sound humorous, but for us Hispanics if a police is behind us we panic," said Mencias.
Residents shared the struggles they face every day driving, echoing fears of leaving their family behind should they get caught without a license.
With 11,000 undocumented immigrants in South Bend the chamber was only able to hold 155, but the council made sure everyone who turned out tonight was able to share their stories.
“It makes us all feel like we’re heard. Verdad? Nos escuchan. Sí, sí," said Jesusa Rivera, resident.
While the council voted in favor of the resolution it’s just the start of the journey, as no immediate changes will happen until next year when the bill is presented in front of state legislators, but Karen Carrizosa says it’s still a small victory in her eyes that she'll continue to keep fighting for.
“It’s gonna help a lot of like parents especially who have to go out and take their children to school and take their children to the doctor and not having that fear of not having insurance or going to jail or getting deported any of those things you know that might happen if they don’t have it," said Carrizosa.
The council says they’ll be partnering with other neighboring cities in the near future to hopefully pass similar resolutions before taking them to the state level next year.