Supporters push for law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses

Proponents of a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain state-issued drivers’ licenses made a new push at the State House on Tuesday.

Lawmakers have introduced two bills that would let those living in Massachusetts illegally obtain the licenses in an effort to make roads safer.

“The goal here is to make sure everyone on the road is licensed and insured,” Representative Christine Barber of Somerville said. “We know people drive without a license now we want to give them the opportunity to get a license in a legitimate way.”

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson opposes the bills, saying it could open the door to potential fraud when it comes to proving identity.

“We’re a country of laws. People need to abide by them,” Hodgson said. “You can get your driver’s license if you apply and come here legally like everybody else does.”

Three years ago, Governor Charlie Baker signed a law that created two different Massachusetts drivers’ licenses — A standard one and a real ID.

The law currently bans undocumented immigrants from obtaining these forms of identification.

Now, some are saying this has to change.

“Already, 14 other states have this and there’s been some benefit, like in Connecticut there’s less hit-and-run instances,” Vice President Roxana Rivera said. “So it improves safety on the road for everybody.”

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