Charlie Baker Vetoes Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Immigrants Bill

Printed from:

By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Friday vetoed a bill making illegal immigrants eligible to seek state-issued driver’s licenses, saying the Registry of Motor Vehicles, an agency that he oversees, doesn’t have the ability to verify the identities of potential applicants.

Following years of advocacy for the bill, House and Senate Democrats on Thursday, May 26 approved the legislation, which supporters say would make the roads safer by granting access to licenses for many immigrants in the country illegally who are living throughout the state.

Republican opposition to the bill was steady throughout its journey through the state Legislature, and officeholders and candidates at the GOP convention on Saturday, May 21 in Springfield sporadically and pointedly expressed their opposition to the proposal.

In his veto message on Friday, May 27, Baker said the legislation “significantly increases the risk that noncitizens will be registered to vote,” a possibility that bill supporters have denied. The governor said the bill “restricts the Registry’s ability to share citizenship information with those entities responsible for ensuring that only citizens register for and vote in our elections.”

The bill cleared both branches with more than enough support to override Baker’s veto.

“Allowing parents to drive their kids to school, take them to doctor’s appointments or be in charge of carpooling to take their kids to soccer, all without the concern they may be separated if they are pulled over, will allow children of undocumented immigrants to breathe and have a sigh of relief,” a bill supporter, state Senator Adam Gomez, a Springfield Democrat, said earlier this month.

It will be up to the House to initiate a veto override, with a two-thirds vote required in each branch to make the bill law.

The House voted 118-36 on Thursday, May 26 to accept the conference committee report on the bill; the Senate vote was 32-8.

Under the bill (H.4805), expanded access to standard driver’s licenses would begin on July 1, 2023. Applicants under the bill would need to provide proof of their identity, date of birth, and residency in Massachusetts.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.