Protesters push for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

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It’s a topic that’s been talked about in cities and states nationwide and today people gathered in Lansing for the same cause.

People from all over Michigan protested at the Capitol calling on lawmakers to allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license.

On cars, with sombreros and through chants, dozens of people gathered outside and inside the Michigan State Capitol to ask legislators to keep them in mind.

Protester Lorena Aguayo says yesterday was the start of Hispanic Heritage Month and wants lawmakers to show their appreciation through action.

“You say we’re important, show us by passing a bill that matters to our community.” Aguayo said.

People drove miles from Kalamazo, Holland, Detroit and Grand Rapids.

Catalina Adorno, a member of Movimiento Cosecha Michigan, an immigrant rights group, says not having a license means living in limbo.

“I’m undocumented. I was able to qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), but I still say I’m undocumented because DACA is a temporary protection only, ” Adorno said.

She says especially during the pandemic, she wants to be able to drive without fear.

“Under this pandemic I shouldn’t have to be worried about getting tested for COVID or just going to the doctor if I don’t feel well just because of my status,” Adorno said.

Senate bill 631 and House bill 5192 were introduced last October. Supporters of the bills say if they aren’t voted on in the next 4 months, they’ll have to start over.

“Pretty much from scratch, we’ll have to start the process from scratch, that’s why these few months are crucial for us. we need to put it all out there,” Adorno said.

But, some say giving undocumented immigrants licenses rewards people for breaking the law.
Republicans in both the house and senate say local governments should not step in the way of enforcing federal immigration law.

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