After failing to get a listening to final session when Republicans managed the Legislature, payments had been reintroduced Wednesday by majority Democrats permitting Michigan residents to acquire state identification playing cards or driver licenses no matter their immigration standing.
At a press convention to announce the Drive SAFE (Security, Entry, Freedom and the Economic system) invoice package deal, Home Majority Flooring Chief Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck), was joined by state Reps. Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and state Sens. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) and Erika Geiss (D-Taylor).
The laws would enable people who can show residency in Michigan however are unable to supply information verifying citizenship to entry driver licenses and state identification playing cards.
“Our laws will lastly enable all Michiganders to interact in our economic system, have entry to fundamental freedoms, and achieve this with the assure of security,” mentioned Aiyash. “In case you stay in Michigan and have confirmed you generally is a accountable driver, it is best to have the ability to get hold of a license, no matter your immigration standing. The security of our residents shouldn’t rely on whether or not the federal authorities has found out our damaged immigration system.”
A earlier try and go the laws was stymied in 2021 when former Home Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) canceled a long-awaited listening to simply hours earlier than it was set to start. The listening to was by no means rescheduled that time period.
“That is the second time I’ve sponsored this laws,” mentioned Hood. “Michigan has virtually 700,000 immigrants contributing to our vibrant communities. These people come from all kinds of backgrounds, skills and trades — earlier than 2008, they had been allowed entry to obtain state identification — it’s time they get this proper again. It’s been 15 years too lengthy.”
Research by the AAA Basis for Site visitors Security have discovered that roughly one in 5 deadly crashes concerned an unlicensed or invalidly licensed driver.
Additionally supporting the laws is the Drive Michigan Ahead coalition, made up of enterprise, non secular and social justice organizations, together with the Michigan League for Public Coverage, We the Individuals Michigan, ACLU Michigan, Progress Michigan, MI Farm Bureau, the American Federation of Academics–Michigan, and the MI Catholic Convention.
“Whether or not you’re a primary or fifth era Michigander, all of us need to have the ability to present and look after our households,” mentioned Nelly Fuentes, statewide immigration strategist with We the Individuals Michigan. “To try this, all of us have to have the best to acquire a driver’s license, no matter how lengthy we’ve been right here or what paperwork we have now, and transfer round with out the concern that caring for our family members will make us a goal. The Drive SAFE payments go a good distance in direction of restoring dignity and peace of thoughts for Michigan’s immigrant group.”
Chang mentioned it was pressing that the Drive SAFE payments be handed this 12 months.
“I’m proud to face with the coalition to introduce these payments for the fifth and remaining time, as a result of we’re going to work extraordinarily arduous to lastly make the Drive SAFE payments a actuality as soon as and for all,” mentioned Chang. “Immigrants and others in Michigan are relying on us to revive entry to driver licenses and state IDs and we will probably be a greater state after we achieve this.”
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