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Rep. Richard Neal supports driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in Massachusetts

U.S. Representative Richard Neal speaking at a press conference at the federal courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 9, 2022.
Alden Bourne
/
NEPM
U.S. Representative Richard Neal speaking at a press conference at the federal courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts, on May 9, 2022.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, of Springfield, said he supports a bill in Massachusetts that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

The bill passed in the Senate last week.

Neal calls the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses "a practical solution."

"I think that some of the opposition has been overstated," he said. "Making sure that they have insurance is also important. And it also gives you a chance to better know who's here."

Proponents of the bill beat back a provision proposed by some Senate members that would have given undocumented immigrants a different ID allowing them to drive.

The bill passed by a wide enough margin to make it veto proof by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The lead sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Brendan Crighton, a Lynn Democrat, said differences with a House version are technical in nature.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.