Massachusetts bill would let those in country illegally get licenses

The bills would permit all qualified residents, regardless of immigration status, to receive a standard driver's license.

The Massachusetts State House.
–David L Ryan/Globe Staff

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House and Senate are planning to hold a joint hearing on two bills that would let immigrants living in the state illegally get driver’s licenses.

The bills — filed by Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield and Sen. Brendan Crighton of Lynn, both Democrats — would permit all qualified residents, regardless of immigration status, to receive a standard driver’s license. Dozens of other lawmakers have signed on to co-sponsor the bills.

Supporters have argued that allowing those living in the state to get licenses, even if they are in the country illegally, will help make the roads safer.

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Critics argue that those in the country illegally aren’t entitled to the benefit of a driver’s license.

The hearing is set for Wednesday at the Statehouse.