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There's a renewed push for Michigan driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Supporters of giving undocumented immigrants the ability to get a Michigan driver’s license are stepping up their push to pass legislation currently before the legislature.

Undocumented immigrants lost their ability to get Michigan drivers’ licenses back in 2008.

“Taking away driver's licenses did not translate into undocumented immigrants stopping driving altogether … or making Michigan safer,” says Nelly Fuentes, with the Drive Michigan Forward Coalition. “It just translated into a lot of people driving without a driver’s license.”

Last week, the Michigan Board of Education passed a resolution supporting the legislation.

“This concerns students,” says board member Lupe Ramos-Montigny. “We want them to be free of stress … and the way that that happens is their parents can bring them to school, can take them to the doctor … and parents can come and participate in school activities.”

Last year, legislation was introduced in both the Michigan House and Senate. The bills are currently sitting in committees with no hearings scheduled.

More than a dozen other states allow individuals to obtain driver's licenses regardless of their immigration status. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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