MARCH 24, 2009
A police chief in Massachusetts has proposed giving illegal immigrants driver’s licenses, assuring that it’s a good policy and a procedural step that makes sense.
Fitchburg Police Chief Robert DeMoura presented the idea at a state-sponsored forum designed to help Governor Deval Patrick better integrate illegal immigrants into Massachusetts society. Patrick, who also advocates giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition, created an advisory council to present policy recommendations by this summer.
The governor’s council has held six meetings throughout the state, the last one this month in Fitchburg, a community of about 41,000 located 50 miles from Boston. At the public forum, Chief DeMoura won a standing ovation when he said illegal immigrants should get driver’s licenses.
The meeting gave several illegal aliens a chance to vent about the difficulties of life in the U.S. Using translators, the panelists offered details about the problems they encounter in education, the workplace, healthcare, housing and transportation simply because they don’t live in the country legally. All of the illegal immigrants stressed that the inability to obtain a driver’s license is a major obstacle.
A woman from Paraguay complained that the state does not value illegal immigrants because they are not part of civic life and aren’t informed about what’s happening in government. Another whined that illegal immigrants cannot get adequate health care in the state because they lack a Social Security number or proper identification.
If Governor Patrick, the attorney in charge of civil rights in Bill Clinton’s Justice Department, has his way all of their problems will be solved. Long an illegal immigration advocate, Patrick killed a policy allowing state troopers to detain illegal aliens shortly after being elected Massachusetts governor in 2006.
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