Iowa Statewide Poll Finds Strong Support of Driver’s Licenses for All Immigrants

A poll by Public Policy Polling found that 58 percent of all Iowa caucus-goers support driver’s licenses for immigrants, regardless of immigration status.

The poll, commissioned by the ACLU of Iowa and conducted by a North Carolina professional polling company, was conducted on February 16 and 17. It surveyed 506 Iowa caucus goers: 48 percent attended their Democratic caucus, 52 percent attended the Republican caucus.

“It’s encouraging to hear that the majority of Iowans support allowing all immigrants to access driver’s licenses both from a humanitarian and safety perspective,” said Erica Johnson, ACLU of Iowa advocacy director. “Immigrants, whether they have authorization or not, are here and are driving. That’s because in a state like Iowa that is rural with harsh winters, they often have little option other than to drive in order to get to school, to buy food, or to get to doctors and churches. Making sure they are tested on the rules of the road and have insurance simply makes sense and helps everyone.”

The poll is timely because a bill that would provide for such licenses is now in play at the Iowa Legislature. House File 2318, introduced by Rep. John Kooiker (R-Boyden), provides for such licenses to be issued to immigrants regardless of authorization status.

“Immigrants are a vital part of our Iowa community. Allowing immigrants to obtain temporary driver’s licenses not only promotes safety but also inclusion,” says Nataly Espinoza, CCI Action Fund member. “It would help those who are already driving to continue to work or go to school without fear of not returning to home to their families simply because they were driving without a license.”

Iowa CCI Action Fund strongly supports the implementation of temporary driver’s licenses and the efforts of ally organizations like ACLU of Iowa and others who continue to promote inclusion in our communities. This legislation would not only improve the lives of our immigrant neighbors but also ensure that our roads are safe for all drivers.

Currently eleven other states have approved similar driver’s licenses. It’s time for Iowa to do the same.

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