Advocates Rally For Undocumented Immigrant Driver's Licenses In Mass.

Advocates rallied for driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in front of the State House on Wednesday. Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ News Radio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — "Licencias Para Todos" ("Licenses For All") read the signs outside of the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday afternoon. It was the site of a rally by supporters of the Work and Family Mobility Act, which would give undocumented immigrants the ability to get a driver's license.

The advocates were rallying ahead of a meeting of the state legislature's Transportation Committee, who heard testimony on the bill.

Community organizer Kathy Henriquez with Neighbors United for a Better East Boston said she's hopeful that the bill will pass.

"There's some the end of the day they respond to the people, and with enough pressure, they have to say yes," she said. It's hardly the first time the cause has been pushed in Massachusetts. Advocates like Henriquez have been trying to get the issue passed in Massachusetts for 17 years, and said the licenses would make everyone safer, with more people insured and less of a motivation to hit-and-run.

Undocumented immigrants can get driver's licenses in 16 states.

Henriquez went further than public safety, calling called the licenses a "human right," and saying that undocumented immigrants were the ones who kept the economy afloat during the pandemic as grocery baggers, custodians, and other frontline workers. 245 organizations and 100 legislative co-sponsors have signed onto the bill, according to a coalition of groups supporting the bill called Driving MA Forward.

Gov. Charlie Baker has been opposed to similar legislation in the past because he thinks it would make information on the licenses impossible to verify. Lawmakers would likely need a veto-proof two-thirds majority to override a potential veto.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

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