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Push for Illegal Immigrants to be Granted Driver's Licenses in Mass.

Lawmakers have scheduled a hearing on the bill for Feb. 5.

By Susan Petroni

The largest immigrant advocacy group in New England is again pushing lawmakers to support a bill that would allow foreign-born residents living in the country illegally to secure Massachusetts driver's licenses, reported the Boston Herald.

Massachusetts law currently requires immigrants seeking a driver's license to prove they are in America legally.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, said removing that barrier — as proposed under the Safe Driving Bill — would make Massachusetts roads more secure ensuring immigrants living in the country illegally are trained, licensed and insured.

Supporters say the bill would particularly help people who do not live near public transportation. It also would protect the health and well-being of children who depend on their parents in medical emergencies.

Lawmakers have scheduled a hearing on the bill for Feb. 5.

The petition was signed by nearly 1,800 supporters by Saturday.

The petition features Valdirene Oliveira, an undocumented Brazilian, who has struggled to adequately care for her daughter who suffers from Spina Bifida, most acutely because she lacks a license to drive.

Read more of the Associated Press report in the Boston Herald at this link.

Gun Rights January 27, 2014 at 09:35 AM
Why we continue to reward those who break our laws and punish the law abiding is beyond me.
Milford Senior Man January 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM
I don't think we should give anyone who is in the USA illegally a drivers license or anything else for that matter. I would give them nothing. Let them go back to their country and come back the legal way.
Marsha Smith January 27, 2014 at 10:20 AM
My question is this: Ms. Oliveria has been in this country, illegally, for 10 years. What has she done in the last 10 years to secure her status as a LEGAL U.S. Citizen other than have a child 7 years ago? I work daily with people that have LEGALLY immigrated to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families. I understand that it is a tedious and difficult process - which part of the process is she currently in? I would love consider supporting this bill if I know the poster child for their effort is actually working toward being a legal citizen.
Andrea Ellsworth January 27, 2014 at 10:39 AM
I have so many questions about this bill. First and foremost I am all for safer driving. I am not for rewarding criminals. If you enter this country illegally you are committing a crime. I am not commenting on any other aspect of that person's life. I completely agree that we should spend more time and energy on trying to get illegals to become legal citizens than figuring out ways to give them more benefits and perks so that they never have to become legal.
Marsha Smith January 27, 2014 at 11:00 AM
If she can't WORK legally, how can she ("she" meaning universal illegal aliens that we are proposing giving licenses to) afford to buy car insurance? Are we as working legal tax payers going to be subsidizing this too? I am already subsidizing the illegal drivers by paying higher premiums to insure against uninsured motorists (even though that's illegal!?!).
Sharon A McArdle January 27, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Its time to say NO. Hiding behind a disabled child is ludicrous.
Marsha Smith January 27, 2014 at 02:43 PM
I don't quite understand why getting the child to school or medical emergencies are even mentioned. The schools are required to provide for all children (at tax payer expense) - regardless of their abilities or disabilities and also regardless of their parent's status as legal or illegal. Driving for a medical emergency is also not an acceptable excuse to issue a drivers license. She would absolutely go straight to the emergency room in an ambulance because it is subsidized by the tax payers. The child is innocent in all of this, but is being used as a unfair pawn.
kalman berke January 28, 2014 at 11:45 AM
I would say that it is better for society and for an individual to be properly "papered" for a more common exercise than is walking. Who above walks any where? So, isn't it the same? If one needs to have a license to get about, I say that it is better to have the paper to get about than not. This is just another facet of nativism and has nothing to do with being here "legally." The thing is, one would hope taking a MA driver's test might be a learning experience for good driving. Don't bet on it as you dodge the legal natives driving left and knocking over ambulances.
Marsha Smith February 14, 2014 at 07:01 AM
Kalman, please help me understand. I have several friends that are paying $700+ for their teenagers to go through driver training right now. How would this be funded for our illegal friends? What about the fees for taking the actual driving test and/or the driving license? What about auto insurance? Since they are here illegally, they *should* not be working, correct? Is this then going to be tax payer funded or are we going to start supporting illegal aliens working? This seems like a very slippery slope. I'm all for legal immigration. I work daily with immigrants here legally looking for work. I know it can be done, I've seen it. The Governor says he wants to give drivers licenses so he can track who is coming and going from this state. Thanks, but no, thanks. Issue I.D. cards, at best.
kalman berke February 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM
Marsha: I am constantly amazed by how close to you the airplanes swoop without making an impression. What you have spent time so much time telling me is entirely irrelevant. And if you mean to tell me that anyone pays to learn to drive, I will tell you that you know a lot of fools. And of course, some of them, those good aliens, are your best friends. That alone reveals your purely condescending attitude towards the other. Finally, I could have predicted that you want "papers" for no reason. An ID? You are a shameful example of prejudice in all of its glory. Big Brother loves you.

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