Supporters tout efforts to repeal law allowing driver’s licenses for immigrants in Mass. illegally

BOSTON — Supporters of an effort to repeal a law that would give Massachusetts driver’s licenses to immigrants in the state illegally say they have gathered 100,000 signatures in their push to put a referendum about the issue on the November ballot.

MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons and Republicans including gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl joined campaign organizers at an event Wednesday.

“What we’re seeing today is the culmination of an effort of volunteers across the state, what we’re seeing is democracy in action,” said Lyons.

The law was passed in June after the state senate overrode a veto of Republican Governor Charlie Baker. The law is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2023.

Under the law, those in the country illegally will be able to apply for a driver’s license if they can provide the Registry of Motor Vehicles with a foreign passport or consular identification document. They will also have to provide one of five additional documents: a driver’s license from another U.S. state or territory; a birth certificate; a foreign national identification card; a foreign driver’s license; or a marriage certificate or divorce decree from any U.S. state or territory.

The changes will help improve the lives of those working to support their families, according to Democratic Sen. Adam Gomez, who voted in June to override Baker’s veto, saying the licenses will help alleviate some of the fears of interacting with police.

The signatures gathered by supporters of the ballot initiative were due on Wednesday for certification.

The signatures must then be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office by Sept. 7 for a final review.

Editor’s note: Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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