Puerto Rico Looks to Issue Licenses to Undocumented Immigrants

Published February 20, 2013


Groups representing Dominicans living in Puerto Rico on Tuesday welcomed a proposal by the island's government to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

The president of the Integracion Dominicana group, Rolando Acosta, told Efe Tuesday that around half of the estimated 200,000 Dominicans in Puerto Rico will be able to obtain a license if the island's legislature approves the plan.

Acosta emphasized that the measure will be a very important qualitative leap for Dominicans in the U.S. commonwealth.

"These people will now come out into the public light," Acosta said, adding that he feels the initiative of Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla is a social justice measure.

He also hailed Garcia Padilla's decision to give instructions to Health Secretary Francisco Joglar for all public health services of the Puerto Rican government to provide medical assistance to pregnant women and foreigners without demanding evidence of legal residence.

Living in Puerto Rico are about 68,000 Dominicans with U.S. citizenship.

The Dominican Human Rights Committee says that the police harass members of the Dominican community in Puerto Rico.

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