BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Activists are frustrated by Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal to require a person to verify their legal status before they can get a driver’s license.
Chanting “no justice, no peace. No racist policies,” pro-immigration activists are criticizing Governor Baker’s proposal to prohibit undocumented immigrants from getting a driver’s license in Massachusetts.
“It’s a shame that the governor is taking on such racist policies because he knows that this is going to impact people of color. It’s going to impact immigrants of color,” said Natalicia Tracy.
The state must move into compliance with “REAL ID,” a federal program to improve national security.
Governor Baker’s proposal would require people to prove their legal status before they can get a license. House Speaker Robert DeLeo told 22News, he believes the proposal will pass in both the House and Senate.
He said, “I think the most important thing that we had to do was to be in compliance with the federal law.”
The debate isn’t over. More than fifty House and Senate Democrats signed onto a bill to bar the Registry of Motor Vehicles from denying driver’s licenses to people in this country illegally. They argue many undocumented immigrants already drive illegally, and licensing would make the roads safer. State Representative Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick) disagrees.
“We need to make sure people here are here lawfully. We don’t know who they are; they shouldn’t be receiving benefits. They shouldn’t be receiving driver’s licenses, and they shouldn’t be on the roads here in Massachusetts,” said Rep. Boldyga.
The House and Senate have until the end of July to take up these immigration bills before they recess for the rest of the year.