Illegal immigrants rally at Michigan state Capitol, demanding driver's licenses

Democrat-backed legislation aims to grant licenses to undocumented residents, sparking debate over immigration and public safety.

Illegal immigrants rally at Michigan state Capitol, demanding driver's licenses
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A group of illegal immigrants gathered outside the Michigan state Capitol building on Wednesday to demand that lawmakers pass legislation allowing them to obtain driver's licenses. The rally, which took place just outside the Michigan House floor, saw participants chanting in both Spanish and English, "What do we want? Driver's Licenses! When do we want them? Now!"

The demonstration was in support of the Drive SAFE package, a set of Democrat-backed bills currently stuck in committees that would grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. The legislation was co-sponsored in the House by Democrat Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash and introduced in the Senate by Democrat Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, among others, the Daily Wire reported.

Advocates of the Drive SAFE package argue that providing illegal immigrants with access to driver's licenses is necessary for them to secure employment in the state. Last year, Aiyash stated that the legislation "will finally allow all Michiganders to engage in our economy, have access to basic freedoms, and do so with the guarantee of safety."

The progressive advocacy group Forge claimed that the "electoral organizing" of undocumented residents in Michigan "tipped the scale of power in the 38th and 103rd districts" during the 2022 midterm elections, contributing to the Democrats' slim majority in the House. Forge asserted that this was "instrumental for changing the playing field and creating a pathway for the Drive SAFE bills to finally become law."

Michigan previously allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses from 1995 to 2008 due to an opinion issued by former Democratic Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley. This opinion was later reversed by former Republican Attorney General Michael Cox.

The issue of illegal immigration has become a significant point of contention in Michigan, a key battleground state in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. Earlier this year, a once-deported illegal immigrant, Brandon Ortiz-Vite, was charged with the murder of 25-year-old Grand Rapids resident Ruby Garcia, further fueling the debate surrounding immigration policies and public safety.

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