Hodgson Talks Testimony Against Mass. Licenses for Illegal Aliens
Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson is continuing to voice his opposition to a proposed bill on Beacon Hill that would allow those living illegally in Massachusetts to obtain a driver’s license from the state.
The bill would permit all qualified residents, regardless of immigration status, to receive a standard license under the state's now-two-tiered system. Those living in the country illegally, however, could not obtain a Real ID, which requires proof of citizenship or lawful residence as well as a Social Security number.
Hodgson testified against the measure at the Statehouse earlier this month, calling it outrageous in a joint hearing between the state Senate and House. The Sheriff further explained the joint hearing and his stance on the bill on the Chris McCarthy Show on Friday.
“Sadly, not that she testified, but one of our Angel Moms also testified, Maureen Maloney, out of Milford – a town where three people were killed by criminal illegal immigrants in two years,” Sheriff Hodgson said as he discussed Maloney’s experience with him at the Statehouse. Maloney’s son was killed in 2011 after being struck and then dragged a quarter mile by a car driven by an illegal immigrant from Ecuador.
“After she finished her testimony, unbelievably, people who were in the audience, including people who weren’t in the country illegally, booed her.”
If passed, the legislation would change the circumstances surrounding citizen’s rights to obtaining a license from the state. The current law, as written, states that a person “who does not have lawful presence in the United States,” is not permitted to a license.
It would change the written language of the law, having it state that those persons “may apply for a Massachusetts license if they meet all other qualifications for licensure and provide satisfactory proof to the registrar of identity, date of birth and Massachusetts residency.”
Sheriff Hodgson says that if passed, the bill would only result in more illegal immigrants entering and living in the Bay State.
“This doesn’t make our roads safer and it doesn’t make our communities safer. I’ve been to the border four times. On the other side of the border, word gets back in sometimes a matter of hours that this new benefit being offered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or somewhere else, is place you want to go because that’s where you can lay low and have a less chance of being caught,” Hodgson said.
“The PEW Research report that came out a few months ago said Massachusetts has the highest migration of illegal immigrants than other state in the United States between 2007 and 2017.” Local state Reps, overseeing portions of New Bedford and surrounding towns, have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.
Freshman state Rep. Chris Hendricks (D-11th Bristol) defended the bill as “a public safety measure.” Rep. Paul Schmid says illegal immigrants are part of the workforce and have to drive to get to work. He continued on, saying that “it’s a matter of public safety.”
Hodgson tells McCarthy that illegal immigrants will obtain a fake birth certificate and enter the United States assuming that name. The Sheriff adds that a copy of an original birth certificate is the only thing needed to obtain identification by illegal immigrants in the state.
“I can’t think that any legislator thinks it’s okay to ignore the existing law,” said Hodgson.
“The biggest problem with this is the fraud in the United States with regards to driver’s licenses is out of control. People’s identities are being stolen.”