BOSTON – The Massachusetts House and Senate will hold a joint hearing today at the Statehouse to deliberate on two bills that would allow illegal immigrants in Massachusetts to obtain state driver’s license.
According to CBS Boston, the two bills were filed by Representative Farley-Bouvier, a democrat from Pittsfield, and Democratic Senator Brendan Crighton of Lynn.
A number of lawmakers have also signed on in support of the bills with the hopes of making roadways safer.
“This is good for public safety, the economy, and it’s the morally right thing to do,” Crighton shared.
If approved, the bills would allow qualified Massachusetts residents to obtain a driver’s license regardless of their immigration status.
Registry spokeswoman Judith Reardon Riley issued a statement regarding the bills, reminding those in favor that the "Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) cannot issue a driver’s license to anyone that cannot prove U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States."
Citing the Work and Family Mobility Act, Crighton shared that the individual would be allowed to bring their passport to the RMV to show proof of identity. There would be a vetting process in place.
Those against allowing immigrants to obtain a driver’s license feel it is a privilege that should not be granted to those living in the state illegally.
In a piece voicing strong opposition to the two bills, the Boston Herald says passing these bills would only attract an influx of immigrants looking to obtain legitimacy while rewarding them after breaking the law.
Also not in favor of the two bills, Gov. Charlie Baker shared last year that if such a bill were to make it to his office he would “certainly veto” it.
Image via Flickr / Tony Hisgett