My name is Valdirene. I came to this country 10 years ago in search of a better life. In 2006 I gave birth to my beautiful and smart daughter, Alicy. She is 7 years old, but she has never been able to walk because she has spina bifida, a common disabling birth defect affecting the spine.
I need a driver’s license to take Alicy to the doctor, to school and to her physical therapy. However, I cannot get one because of my immigration status. Every day, I face a horrible dilemma: is it more important that my daughter get the medical treatment she needs, or that I don’t run the risk of being taken from her and deported for driving without a license?
In Massachusetts, there is no path to follow the law for many residents who wish to take a driver’s exam, drive lawfully, and carry insurance. The Safe Driving Bill would provide this path and it could even save lives, by allowing all drivers to learn our traffic rules and by increasing families’ mobility to cover their needs and emergencies.
I am urging your support for this bill. Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut & Washington D.C. allow all their residents to drive, or have passed laws that will soon do so. The time is now for Massachusetts to follow. Help me give Alicy a chance to live the life I have dreamed for her, as you have dreamed for your children.
I believe that all Massachusetts residents should be trained, licensed and insured--regardless of immigration status. The passing of the Safe Driving Bill will make the roads safer for me, my family, and my neighbors.
This bill would:
• Save Lives – By increasing driver knowledge of Massachusetts traffic laws, the Safe Driving Bill would reduce fatal road accidents, and would also help our first responders identify those they assist.
• Save Police Time and Resources – By eliminating time-consuming work currently required to ascertain individuals’ true identities, the Safe Driving Bill would free police to focus on their top public safety priorities.
• Conserve Court Resources – By helping to address the black market for false licenses, the Safe Driving Bill would reduce the time courts spend adjudicating cases based on fake identification.
• Increase Compliance with Mandatory Insurance Requirements – By providing a means for all drivers to obtain a prerequisite to insurance, the Safe Driving Bill would credibly require all motorists to share the responsibility of mandatory liability insurance. By reducing the number of unlicensed, uninsured drivers, this bill would reduce the unfair burden of insurance costs carried disproportionately by currently licensed drivers.
• Increase RMV Resources – By raising fees paid for driver’s licenses and learner’s permits, the Safe Driving Bill would increase the resources the Commonwealth has available.
• Support Our Economy – By improving access to businesses less accessible by foot or public transportation, the Safe Driving Bill would remove a current barrier to commerce.
• Shrink the Haystack – By allowing police and the RMV access to records and legitimate identification for more drivers, the Safe Driving bill would shrink the suspect pool and would make it easier to spot those who choose to use fake licenses, or drive without a license, despite the existence of a path to follow the law.
Increasingly, our nation is eliminating immigration status as a barrier to safe driving. Washington, California, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut & Washington D.C. all allow and require all their resident drivers to be trained, licensed and insured or have recently passed laws to do so.
As a Massachusetts resident, I am urging you to do everything in your reach to support the Safe Driving Bill.