News

Mar 11, 2014

Sen. Richard T. Moore


Moore opposes granting licenses to undocumented immigrants

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

Moore opposes granting licenses to undocumented immigrants

BOSTON - In his latest effort to keep roads safe, while also tackling the
effects of illegal immigration in Massachusetts, Sen. Richard T. Moore,
D-Uxbridge, voiced his opposition to a bill that would enable the Registry
of Vehicles (RMV) to grant licenses to undocumented immigrants. A longtime
advocate for public safety, and strong supporter of strengthened policies to
combat the effects of illegal immigration, Moore voiced his opposition to
the bill in a letter to the chairs of the Legislature's Transportation
Committee.

"As the grandson of lawful immigrants, I support legal immigration," said
Sen. Moore. "I do not, however, support illegal immigration, or efforts that
seek to promote unlawful presence in the United States. Granting licenses to
undocumented immigrants would act contrary to national immigration law, make
our roads less safe, and have other negative effects on the Commonwealth."

Among the several reasons he asserted why the bill ought not to pass, Moore
strongly argued that the bill is contrary to federal immigration policy, and
that it would sanctify breaking the law.

"Granting such a privilege to those who have not yet obtained immigration
status would legitimize unlawful presence," wrote Moore. "Moreover, it would
undermine the path to citizenship, acting contrary to the spirit of national
immigration law, policy, and controls. Until the federal government takes a
substantial step toward immigration reform, Massachusetts should not
frustrate the purpose of the rules that are already in place.

Moore stated that there would be no guarantee that granting a license would
ensure the newly licensed individuals would obey traffic laws, citing the
tragic cases of Matthew Denice and Richard Grossi who were both killed in
collisions with unlicensed, unlawfully present drivers. He also noted that
there would be no guarantee that the newly licensed drivers would obtain
insurance, or register their vehicles and get them inspected.

Sen. Moore also pointed out that the bill would be contrary to the community
safety legislation that he led to passage last session along with a
bi-partisan group of legislators from both the Senate and House. Among the
successful provisions was an increase to the penalties for driving without a
license.

"This legislation runs completely opposite to the intent of those new
provisions of the law," noted Moore. "To suggest that [it] would make our
roads safer is therefore misguided. Expanding the scope of individuals
eligible for drivers' licenses to those who are unlawfully present in the
United States is simply not the means to achieve that end."

Moore also doubted the effects of provisions in the bill requiring that the
licenses be specially marked, and that they could not be used for fraudulent
purposes. He noted that Massachusetts has not yet achieved compliance with
the post-9/11 REAL ID Act. Moore has been critical about the lack of
compliance with the REAL ID Act, most recently writing to the RMV along with
a bipartisan group of fellow lawmakers on that topic, and then voting for an
amendment to the Senate Transportation Bond bill that would require the RMV
to provide the Legislature with a plan as to how it intends to achieve
compliance.

House Bill 3285 would permit the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to issue
drivers' licenses regardless of whether they can provide a Social Security
number or evidence of lawful immigration status. Currently, state law
requires individuals seeking a drivers' license to prove that they are
lawfully present in the United States by providing a Social Security number,
or a relatively recent denial notice from the Social Security
Administration, as well as visa documents.

The Transportation Committee has until March 20th to determine whether the
bill should move forward.

For more information on Sen. Moore's efforts to address the effects of
illegal immigration and community safety in Massachusetts, visit
www.senatormoore.com, or follow him on Facebook
(www.facebook.com/senatormoore) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/SenDickMoore).