The Board of Directors of the Charles River Chamber is recommending a “yes” vote on Question 4, the statewide ballot question that asks voters if they want to keep a new Massachusetts law that allows unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a license would mean those drivers will have passed the same written, road, and eye tests the rest of us have. Licensees will also qualify for auto insurance, another benefit to all of us on the road or crossing the street.
Massachusetts already allows undocumented individuals to legally attend public schools, qualify for free school meals, partake in some housing assistance programs, receive vaccinations, and access other public health services.
Under the new law, drivers would not be able to get a REAL ID. They will not be automatically registered to vote.
There are an estimated 250,000 undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts. Anyone who doesn't realize that this includes folks working in the restaurants we enjoy, manicuring the lawns we admire, cleaning our offices, and working in many other capacities (and, yes, already behind the wheel) in our suburban communities, is naive.
This law doesn’t fix our broken immigration system. Nor is it about awarding privileges or rewarding scofflaws. It’s about acknowledging reality and increasing the number of law-abiding, certified drivers on our roads.