• Advocates push bill for driver's licenses regardless of immigration status


    BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts immigrant advocates are set to gather at the State House in Boston to ask lawmakers to back a bill that will allows all state residents to apply for a driver's license, regardless of their immigration status.

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

    The Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition says requirements under the current law do not account for some documented immigrants.

    "This requirement restricts availability of driver's licenses and learner's permits to a subset of documented immigrants – those eligible for work authorization or possessing certain visas – and prevents all other Massachusetts residents who are immigrants from becoming trained, licensed and insured drivers," says a MIRA website supporting the proposed legislation.

    The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition has worked with two Democratic lawmakers to introduce the Safe Driving Bill to address the fact that unlicensed immigrants need to drive children to school and relatives to hospitals.

    Advocates will gather Tuesday at the State House to press lawmakers to back the bill introduced by Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville and Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield.

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