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Immigration activists pushing for driver’s licenses for all in Massachusetts policing bill



Photo courtesy of Driving Families Forward

As the details of a policing reform bill are being debated on and finalized, community activists are pushing for parts of another bill to be inserted.

Immigrant rights groups petitioned lawmakers on Beacon Hill Friday to add previsions from a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants the right to obtain Massachusetts driver’s licenses, into the police reform bill that was just passed in the Senate.

The language that would be inserted into the policing bill would be taken from the Work and Family Mobility Act currently making its way through the Massachusetts Statehouse.

The Work and Family Mobility Act states that people who do not provide proof of lawful presence, including those who are ineligible for a social security number, shall be eligible for a Massachusetts license if they meet all other qualifications for licensure and provide satisfactory proof to the registrar of identity, date of birth and Massachusetts residency. When processing an application for a Massachusetts license, a learner’s permit, or a motor vehicle registration, the registrar shall not inquire about or create a record of an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status.

The bill was reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Senate Ways and Means on April 21st.

HAPPENING NOW: #DrivingMAForward press conference! Immigrant justice IS racial justice.

Posted by Driving Families Forward on Friday, July 17, 2020

In a statement issued by Natalícia Tracy, PH.D Executive Director Brazilian Worker Center, and Dalida Rocha, 615 New England Political Director, 32BJ SEIU, the two called for the passage “to dismantle part of the structural racism that immigrants face in the Commonwealth.”

“There is no doubt that the socially damaging and unsafe linkage of driving privileges to immigration status is a part of the systemic racism that continues to hold back Black communities. Mobility is necessary. The current pandemic has shown how systemic inequities disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities, many of which are also immigrant communities.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. DSP

    July 18, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    “Woke” jokes.

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