State Rep.Renews Push To Allow Undocumented To Get Driver’s License
The Berkshire Eagle reports State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier thinks it's important that all motorists in the state are licensed drivers — regardless of immigration status.
Farley-Bouvier is renewing her push — this is the third time she has proposed legislation on the topic — to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's licenses in Massachusetts. A bill she filed in 2014 landed in a dead-end study. Legislation that she filed in 2015 had more than 50 co-sponsors and drew public hearings, but no action ever was taken.
The current legislation, which Farley-Bouvier is sponsoring with state Rep. Christine Barber, D-Somerville, and state Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, was filed when the current two-year legislative session began in January. A hearing on their proposal, The Work & Family Mobility Act, is scheduled for Wednesday before the Joint Committee on Transportation at the Statehouse in Boston.
The bill would allow all qualified state residents to apply for a standard state driver's license, regardless of immigrant status, while keeping the state in full compliance with federal REAL ID requirements.
Thirteen other states, including Connecticut, New York and Vermont, have enacted laws that allow undocumented residents to obtain driver's licenses. Massachusetts is one of eight states that have filed similar legislation this year.
The current proposal also has the backing of several labor organizations, something that Farley-Bouvier said was lacking in the past. They include several state and regional chapters of the Service Employees International Union, which has 1.9 million members in the U.S. and Canada; the Massachusetts Teachers Association; Western Mass. Jobs with Justice; and the Western Mass. Area Labor Federation.