Mass. voters on brink of overriding Dem law allowing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses

Massachusetts voters will have a chance to repeal a law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The bill was vetoed in May by Republican Governor Charlie Baker. But in another case of ruling against the will of the people, the veto didn’t stick. So strongly do Democrats in the state legislature feel about illegals voting that they went all in and overrode the veto.

Nevertheless, the people will have the final say, as the ballot measure’s approval was announced on Friday.

“It just shows how out of touch the Democratic Legislature is with the will of the people,” Massachusetts GOP chairman Jim Lyons told the Boston Herald. “We will absolutely win. A poll had us winning 51 percent to 37 percent.”

According to the Herald story, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office certified 71,883 signatures and confirmed that the repeal measure was eligible for November’s ballot in the state. The required number of signatures is 40,120.

The law, which would go into effect in July 2023, has one of those newfangled names that looks like lipstick on a pig: the “Work and Family Mobility Act.” What wonderfully positive words – surely it polled well. Its provisions are another matter entirely.

The law allows residents who do “not provide proof of lawful presence in the United States” to provide a valid, unexpired foreign passport and another piece of documentation, such as a birth certificate or foreign national identification card, to get a Massachusetts driver’s license.

In passing the law, Massachusetts joined 16 other states that have similar laws in force. If voters don’t strike it down, it will go into effect next July.

Maureen Maloney has led the repeal effort. Her son, Matthew, died in 2011, having been killed in a crash with an illegal alien. In June, Maloney formed a committee to repeal the law and filed a statement of organization with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

“I do not think that we should be rewarding people for being in the country illegally,” Maloney told the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “I think the RMV [Registry of Motor Vehicles] is not equipped to properly vet people coming into the United States from over 100 different countries and being able to reliably decipher their documentation that, first of all, is in the different language, and second of all, for validity.”

Incredibly, there are those who boldly proclaim the validity of the law Maloney seeks to repeal.

Sarang Sekhavat, the political director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition who advocated for the measure, explained in an interview with WBUR that there are illegal immigrants driving in Massachusetts. Therefore, she reasoned, “Ensuring all Massachusetts drivers meet the necessary identification, registration and testing requirements for driving just simply makes the roads safer.”

Jim Lyons disagreed, saying that driving is a privilege, not a right.

“The rule of law matters,” Lyons said. “People that are in the country illegally should not be rewarded for their behavior by getting a driver’s license.”

The MS state legislature’s veto override in May was a thumbing of the nose at voters. It is the kind of chutzpah seemingly only displayed in deep blue states. Most Representatives do not feel threatened by Republicans running against them. Their seats are safe. Blue states keep electing their Democrats and complaining about the mess their state is in. It’s almost as though they have lost all ability to deduce.

Issue by issue, though, voters are less progressive than their “representatives,” which is the power of ballot measures. Such measures have the effect of bailing citizens out from the consequences of their voting habits.

Charlie Baker announced last December that he would not seek a third term as governor of Massachusetts.


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