Immigrant activists renew push for drivers licenses
BOSTON (AP) — Immigrant activists in Massachusetts are renewing their push to allow people living in the country illegally to apply for state driver’s licenses.
The Driving Families Forward Coalition held a virtual event Tuesday in support of a bill introduced into the state Legislature this month.
Organizers said the proposed “Work & Family Mobility Act” is critical for public health during the pandemic because it will enable thousands of residents to avoid carpools and public transportation while also improving their ability to access COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
The bill prevents state motor vehicle registry officials from asking about a person’s citizenship or immigration status when they’re seeking a driver’s license, vehicle registration, learner’s permit or state identification.
It would allow people unable to prove U.S. legal status to show other documents proving their identity, birth date and residency in Massachusetts. They’d also have to provide an active foreign passport or a combination of other approved documents.
Sixteen states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. are among the jurisdictions with similar provisions, according to the Massachusetts coalition.
The driver’s license proposal has failed years past because Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been opposed.