An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility was passed by the Massachusetts legislature on May 26, 2022. This a law enables all qualified state residents to apply for a standard Massachusetts driver's license, regardless of immigration status, while keeping us all safe across the Commonwealth and in compliance with REAL ID requirements. It allows an individual to present a foreign passport or consular identification document along with another document to provide their identity and date of birth. If the documents provided are not in English, a certified translation must be included. The law is supposed to take into effect July 1, 2023.
On June 9, 2022, the Massachusetts Senate vetoed, 32-8, to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto. This legislation is currently on the ballot for November 8, 2022.
Why REACH cares?
We believe that all survivors of domestic violence – whether documented or undocumented- should have access to basic rights and services, including the right to drive.
Undocumented survivors of domestic violence face increased barriers when looking for support. Many survivors that we’ve worked with have disclosed that seeking support is challenging because they don’t have access to reliable transportation, and they would have reached out for help earlier if they could. This law would help survivors access resources and seek safety much earlier on.
Gladys Ortiz, Bilingual Advocacy and Systems Advocacy Manager, who has been mobilizing Latina survivors through Latinas Know Your Rights (LKYR), a 12-week “Know Your Rights” program for Latina survivors, reflects:
"Survivors talked about how having a driver’s license would make their lives safer by being a means to escape violence as they faced dangerous situations complicated further by their immigration status. They tearfully shared their stories over the years, often facing opponents of the bill who were strongly against any measure that would benefit the undocumented community."
Please vote YES on 4 and help us continue to elevate the voices of survivors. We also invite you to learn more about the new law on the ACLU website and read about our systems advocacy work.