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Immigrant Drivers Bill Before House Committee

A Vermont House committee is scheduled to hear testimony on a bill that would allow farmworkers in the country illegally to become drivers.

Last week, the Senate gave final approval for a bill to create driver privilege cards for people not eligible to get an enhanced driver's license under the federal REAL ID law.

The measure is expected to extend driving privileges to 1,200 to 1,500 immigrants, mostly from Mexico and Guatemala and mostly working on Vermont dairy farms who are in the United States without the legally required immigration papers.

Supporters say the workers provide crucial labor. But they're often isolated on rural farmsteads due to what up to now has been an inability to drive.

Testimony before the House Transportation Committee is scheduled at 10 a.m. Thursday.