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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Undocumented Immigrants in MA Allowed License to Drive

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Monday, July 10, 2023   

Undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts are now able to apply for a driver's license regardless of their immigration status.

The Work and Family Mobility Act went into effect July 1, removing the requirement that residents provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S.

Franklin Soults - the senior communications strategist with the 32BJ local of the Service Employees International Union, speaking for the Driving Families Forward coalition - said other states with similar laws have seen reductions in both uninsured drivers and hit-and-run incidents.

"It's common sense that if you allow everybody to take a road test," said Soults, "to learn the rules of the road and to get a drivers license then the roads will be safer."

Nineteen other states have similar laws and are backed by law enforcement agencies, which contend the policies help improve trust between police and immigrant communities.

Soults said it's estimated more than 200,000 undocumented immigrants live in Massachusetts.

The state Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has been preparing for a massive influx of applications - up to 100,000 over the next six months.

Materials have been translated into fifteen languages and a dedicated hotline provides interpreters in more than one hundred languages.

"This law will benefit them enormously," said Soults, "by allowing them to have the right to mobility which is such a big right that we all take for granted."

Soults called the new law, which has been decades in the making, a victory during what he says has been a "dark time for immigrants' rights."

He said parents will now be able to drive their kids to school or the doctor, or drive to work without fear of deportation.




Disclosure: 32BJ SEIU contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Immigrant Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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