Hodgson Testifying Against Mass. Licenses for Illegal Immigrants
BOSTON — Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson will be in Boston on Wednesday as state lawmakers hold a joint hearing on proposed legislation that would allow those living in the country illegally to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license.
Sheriff Hodgson tweeted Tuesday that he plans to testify against the legislation, filed by Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, of Pittsfield, and Senator Brendan Crighton, of Lynn. The Committee on Transportation is conducting the hearing.
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.
“I’ll be at the Statehouse in Boston on Wednesday to testify against a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain official Mass. driver’s licenses,” the Sheriff tweeted.
The legislation seeks to change the circumstances surrounding citizen’s rights to obtain 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.
The proposal would change the law to 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.”
“I’ll be on Beacon Hill testifying against these two bills to make sure the Committee understands that passing any legislation that gives illegal immigrants driver’s licenses is going to perpetuate a crime in our community that’s going to draw more illegals to Massachusetts,” Sheriff Hodgson told WBSM News.
The issue has not seen much success on Beacon Hill, but progressive lawmakers have renewed the push, arguing it will “make the roads safer for everyone and ease stress on undocumented families.”
Sheriff Hodgson calls the proposed bills “outrageous,” and says that if passed, the legislation would only result in more illegal immigrants coming to the Bay State.
“We know that Massachusetts has the highest migration of illegal immigrants from 2007 and 2017. This is critically important and has everything to do with the rule of law. This rewards lawbreakers by giving them a privilege that is really reserved for those who are following the law and doing it the right way,” stated Hodgson.
“This is the most outrageous proposal I have ever heard and I can’t believe lawmakers who took an oath to protect the community would undermine the people they promised to protect.”