NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

February 12, 2014

Our view: Mass. fails test in drivers license checks

(Continued)

But compliance seems unlikely in the Bay State given the Legislature’s headlong rush to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Supporters say the “Safe Driving Bill” currently before the Legislature will make our streets safer by assuring that illegal immigrants get driver training and meet licensing requirements. The unspoken assumption behind the proposed law is that illegal immigrants, in addition to entering the country illegally, are also currently breaking the law by driving without licenses.

With the Legislature presented an option to help law-breakers by making life more difficult for law-abiding citizens, well, Massachusetts residents had better get used to the idea of carrying passports for identification.

If Massachusetts is willing to hand out driver’s licenses to those who explicitly are neither citizens nor here legally, it’s hard to see how the state will ever be in compliance with a federal law that requires states to verify citizenship when issuing licenses.

When Real ID was being debated, we were unconvinced the law was a good idea. Our arguments fell on deaf ears and the law was passed.

Now that Real ID is the law of the land, Massachusetts ought to comply with its provisions.

“It’s a matter of public safety,” Tarr said. “It’s a matter of convenience and it’s a matter of Massachusetts citizens being recognized in the same way that citizens in the rest of the country will be after April.”

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