Photo by Matti Blume
It will expand driver’s license access to all residents, regardless of immigration status
On Feb. 16, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Work and Family Mobility Act, which allows all qualified state residents to apply for a driver’s license, no matter what their immigration status may be. The vote was 120 to 36. Leaders of the organizations co-chairing the Driving Families Forward Coalition, Brazilian Worker Center Executive Director Lenita Reason and 32BJ SEIU Vice President Roxana Rivera, gave the following statement:
“We cannot overstate our joy, pride and gratitude for today’s historic vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The House passage of the Work and Family Mobility Act moves all state residents toward greater road safety, improved security, better public health and a more vibrant economy, while holding out the prospect of transformational change for undocumented immigrants across the Commonwealth. The joint pursuit of these many goals is what brings together Driving Families Forward, a broad and diverse coalition of 270 endorsers that includes business associations, labor unions, immigrant advocates, faith groups and many more. It’s also why the bill has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Major Cities Chiefs of Police Association, whose members lead two-thirds of the state’s total police force, as well as by a majority of the state’s District Attorneys and sheriffs, and dozens of individual chiefs in smaller towns and cities.
“We extend our deepest thanks to Speaker Mariano for his clear support in moving the bill through the legislative process. We also thank the bill’s four lead sponsors, dozens of cosponsors and the many thousands who have written letters, made calls, and attended meetings to help bring us to this point. We now urge Senate leadership to quickly take up this vital legislative proposal, the Senate to pass it, and Governor Baker to follow the overwhelming consensus with his signature, turning the Work and Family Mobility Act into law.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.