In a new report released by the Immigration Policy Center, researchers document the ripple effects of withholding driver’s licenses from unauthorized immigrants. Similar to the report the Budget & Tax Center released a few weeks ago, their analysis finds that without a driver’s license, the ability to participate in economic and social life is restricted.
Among their findings are:
- People who drive are more likely to find jobs, work more hours, and earn higher wages.
- Lack of access to transportation may constrain upward economic mobility and contribute to the perpetuation of poverty.
- In all measures of mobility available, recent immigrants—and Latino immigrants in particular—travel less than the U.S.-born population, in spite of having the same travel needs in terms of commuting to and from work, shopping and participating in local institutions.
- A growing immigrant population offsets demographic and economic stagnation and decline in some places, contributing to economic vitality and entrepreneurial activity, providing needed labor in economic sectors transformed by changes in the global economy, and increasing the tax base and participation in social institutions.
Just some more evidence that without access to transportation by car, immigrants’ economic potential is not realized for their families, communities or the broader economy.