Hundreds Attend Mass. Hearing on Immigrant Driver's Licenses - NECN

Hundreds Attend Mass. Hearing on Immigrant Driver's Licenses

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    Immigrant Rights Activists Rally During Debate on Licensing Bills

    Immigrant rights activists rallied outside the Massachusetts state house on Wednesday before and during a debate was held on a pair of bills that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019)

    Hundreds of people packed the Massachusetts Statehouse Wednesday for a joint House and Senate hearing on two bills that would let immigrants living in the state illegally get driver's licenses.

    Most of the roughly 600 people in attendance were in support of the bills, which were filed by Democrats Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield and Sen. Brendan Crighton of Lynn. They would permit all qualified residents, regardless of immigration status, to receive a standard driver's license. Dozens of other lawmakers have signed on to co-sponsor the bills.

    Supporters have argued that allowing those living in the state to get licenses, even if they are in the country illegally, will help make the roads safer.

    "Morally it's the right thing to do and practically it's also the smart thing to do," Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said at the hearing.

    Supporters Push for Undocumented Immigrants to Get Drivers Licenses

    [NECN] Supporters Push for Undocumented Immigrants to Get Drivers Licenses

    Supporters of a bill that would give drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants rallied on Beacon Hill in Boston.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019)

    Critics argue that those in the country illegally aren't entitled to the benefit of a driver's license.

    "Are you here illegally and, if you are, you should not be getting the same privileges that the people who follow the laws of this nation are afforded," Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told reporters.

    While about a dozen states have similar laws, including Connecticut, Vermont and New York, this type of legislation has failed in Massachusetts before, and Gov. Charlie Baker is planning to veto it should it pass.

    "There's no documentation to back up the fact that they are who they say they are, and a driver's license is a passport to a lot of things," he said.

    Dozens of groups rallied on the steps of the statehouse in support of the new proposal.

    "We come here to work. And to support families and to be part of the American Dream," one woman said.

    Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

    [NATL] Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

    A young Ohio woman broke down in tears when she was cleared of murder charges involving the death of her newborn child. A jury cleared Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges of a baby she had given birth to and buried in the family's backyard.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    "We're driving already. I just need the opportunity to get the education, to get the knowledge, to be on the road," said a man named Alberto.

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