SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Lawmakers have introduced a controversial bill that would let those living in Massachusetts illegally obtain their licenses.
The Work and Family Mobility Act would allow undocumented immigrants living in Massachusetts to apply for and take a driving test to receive a state-issued license.
The bill is currently being considered by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation and is prompting several officials to speak out.
On Friday Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood announced her opposition to the bill, joining Mayor Domenic Sarno and Governor Charlie Baker who previously said they do not support it.
Passing this bill would make our roads more dangerous, putting your family and our officers at greater risk. The research I’ve read makes it clear the roads are not any safer n the states that allow this and that is the priority.Springfield Police Commissoner Cherly Clapprood
However, those in favor of the bill feel differently. Rose Bookbinder, co-director of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, said that people will be on the roads regardless.
“It would be better to have trained drivers who have gone through testing and understand the rules of the road,” said Bookbinder. “So this is something that will keep all of us safe.”
Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants that are driving without a license. Fourteen states, including Connecticut and Vermont, have laws in place allowing all residents to acquire some type of license or permit, regardless of immigration status.
The bill needs a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate to become a law.