Colorado will begin issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards to immigrants Friday regardless of their legal status, underscoring a sea change in a state that less than a decade ago passed strict immigration enforcement laws.
Now, thousands of immigrants are waiting to get cards they hope will add a degree of legitimacy to their residency in Colorado. About 9,500 people are signed up for appointments through the next 90 days to get the documents, with more getting scheduled every day. Both people in the country illegally and those who have temporary legal status will qualify.
The demand for the licenses and identification cards has been tremendous, with the state’s website for appointments crashing at one point because of traffic, and immigrant advocates urging officials to add more locations where people can go. So far, appointments are being handled at only five locations— Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Grand Junction.