A package of bills to restore immigrant driver’s licenses to Michigan was reintroduced to the state legislature on Tuesday at a virtual press conference.
If passed, the Drive SAFE (Security, Access, Freedom and Economy) plan would allow more than 100,000 immigrants, including those without papers, to apply for a driver’s license in Michigan.
Bill’s sponsor and Democratic state representative Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) said 15 states across the country have already passed similar legislation.
“Because immigrants are business owners, they are parents, they are professionals,” she says. “They are essential workers and caregivers. Giving them access to a driver’s license means that they can shoulder their responsibilities.
Democratic state representative Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids) is also a sponsor of the bill. She says current laws even prevent some immigrants with legal status from getting a license.
“Being able to get a driver’s license or state ID card shouldn’t be one of the challenges these hardworking, dedicated and passionate people face,” says Hood.
In 2008, the state passed a law prohibiting residents without legal status from receiving a driver’s license or personal identity card.