With Senate override vote, driver’s license invoice turns into legislation

BOSTON (AP) — A invoice that might permit immigrants within the nation illegally to acquire driver’s licenses in Massachusetts has turn out to be legislation after the state Senate voted Thursday to override the veto of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The 32-8 vote adopted a profitable override vote Wednesday within the Home. Massachusetts now joins 16 different states and the District of Columbia which have related legal guidelines.

The brand new legislation is a win for immigrant rights teams which have lengthy pushed for the measure, framing it partly as a public security measure saying that the individuals should present they’ll correctly function a automobile and get insurance coverage within the occasion of an accident .

Baker has opposed the thought of ​​permitting these within the nation illegally to acquire driver’s licenses, saying it might require the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Automobiles to subject state credentials to individuals with out the power to confirm their identification.

With the adjustments, Baker stated, an ordinary Massachusetts driver’s license would not verify that an individual is who they are saying they’re.

Beneath the brand new legislation, these within the nation will illegally have the ability to apply for a driver’s license if they’ll present the Registry of Motor Automobiles with a international passport or consular identification doc.

They may also have to offer considered one of 5 further paperwork: a driver’s license from one other US state or territory; a beginning certificates; a international nationwide identification card; a international driver’s license; or a wedding certificates or divorce decree from any US state or territory.

The brand new legislation takes impact July 1, 2023.

The adjustments will assist enhance the lives of these working to assist their households, based on Democratic Sen. Adam Gomez, who voted to override Baker’s veto, saying the licenses will assist alleviate a number of the fears of interacting with police.

“As a Latino-American rising up round individuals from all completely different backgrounds, I’ve seen firsthand the limitations the undocumented immigrants face when making an attempt to safe employment, housing and better schooling,” he stated. “Laws like it will attain these communities and permit them to flourish.”

The licenses might pose unintended issues, based on Republican Sen. Bruce Tarr, who voted to uphold Baker’s veto.

“We’re creating an incredible alternative that it might be abused for functions for which it isn’t supposed,” he stated. “It additionally creates an unimaginable menace to the integrity of the electoral course of.”

Baker, in his veto letter to lawmakers final month, additionally stated the brand new legislation would considerably enhance the danger that noncitizens will probably be registered to vote.

Supporters say these considerations are overblown partly as a result of these utilizing the licenses to aim to register to vote might find yourself going through deportation.

Geoff Diehl, a Republican candidate for governor, stated Thursday that he would assist a poll query to repeal the brand new legislation.

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