Sunday, July 25, 2021

Play

Supporters of the U.S. Postal Service are pressing to affirm its commitment to six-day-a-week delivery for letters and packages, and Congress looks to tackle "forever chemicals."

Play

A bipartisan infrastructure bill could be released today; Speaker Pelosi taps another Republican for the January 6th panel; and a "Selma-style" march for voting rights heads for Austin, Texas.

Bills Would Allow Driver’s License, ID Cards for the Undocumented

Play

Wednesday, May 12, 2021   

LANSING, Mich. -- Undocumented people in Michigan would regain the right to apply for a driver's license or ID card, if two bills introduced Tuesday in the state Senate were to pass.

They're called the Drive SAFE bills, which stands for Safety, Access, Freedom and the Economy.

Sainavya Upparapalle, a 17-year-old member of Michigan's immigrant community from Troy, said the current rules are a huge burden on families such as hers, because her driver's license became invalid when the family's visa came up for renewal.

"I can't go out to get groceries. I can't go out at all. I can't go to school because I can't drive anymore," Upparapalle explained. "And, you know, these are small things, but they make such a huge change in our lives."

Opponents have said giving government IDs to undocumented people would undermine immigration laws. Supporters argued everyone is safer on the road when all drivers have access to training, licensing tests and insurance.

Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, is a co-sponsor of the Michigan House version of the bills, set to be introduced next week.

"Immigrants touch all sectors of our economy, from agriculture and manufacturing to hospitality, health care, construction and more," Hood outlined. "Immigrants are employers, taxpayers, homeowners, and they're our neighbors, family members and friends."

Rob Steffens, owner of Steffens Orchard Market in Sparta, said agriculture depends on immigrant workers.

"We need this population," Steffens contended. "It's important for us, for our economy. It's in the best interest of everybody including the taxpayer to have people be able to drive legally."

Senate Bill 433 and Senate Bill 434 would grant an estimated 100,000 people the right to apply for a driver's license and state ID card, a right that existed in state law prior to 2008. Eighteen other states and territories have already passed similar measures.

Disclosure: Michigan League for Public Policy/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Children's Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …


Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …

Environment

CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …


According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …

Environment

BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…

Environment

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021