General Assembly Passes Bill to Expand Drivers License Access for Immigrants

April 5, 2013

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, Communications Director, 410-889-8555; media@aclu-md.org 

Sirine Shebaya, Liman Fellowship Attorney, shebaya@aclu-md.org 

 

ANNAPOLIS - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland today hailed the House of Delegates for voting to approve Senate Bill 715 (83-54) and House Bill 789 (82-56), which will provide limited use driver's licenses to Maryland residents who do not have proof of lawful immigration status but can provide documentary evidence of identity and Maryland residence for the past two ears. The Senate passed the SB 715 by a vote of 29-18 last week. 

 

SB 715/HB 789 - the Maryland Highway Safety Act - provides more Maryland residents with access to the necessities of daily life and helps to improve public safety and security. Without the ability to drive, people cannot perform basic daily functions without hardship, especially in areas where public transportation is not readily available. Limited drivers licenses would benefit a large number of Maryland residents and will result in a dramatic decrease in the number of unlicensed drivers on the road. 

 

The ACLU worked in coalition with CASA de Maryland, SEIU and other allies to advocate for the bill.

 

The following may be attributed to Sirine Shebaya, Liman Fellowship Attorney for Immigrants' Rights, ACLU of Maryland: 

 

"Today represents a significant advance in the fight against discrimination and in favor of a more just, sustainable living environment for our residents and working families. With passage of this bill, Marylanders will no longer have to fear arrest or harassment while trying to meet their basic daily needs, like driving their kids to school or going to work. We applaud our elected representatives for taking this important step and for moving our state forward in the right direction."

 

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