Local Immigrants Plan Rally for Drivers Licenses for All
Michigan bill at the Secretary of State office
Who: Immigrants and allies from Movimiento Cosecha Ann
What: Demonstration demanding Drivers Licenses for All
Where: Parking lot in front of the Secretary of State office,
Ave., Ann Arbor
When: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 2:30 pm
Local immigrants and allies will lead a protest Wednesday
demanding passage of a stalled bill to return the right to a
driver’s license for Michigan’s undocumented immigrants. The
Drive SAFE bill, introduced in November in the Michigan
legislature, would restore access to driver’s licenses for
undocumented immigrants in Michigan.
Participants, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing,
will protest near the Michigan Secretary of State office, 4675
Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, at 2:30 pm.
The local chapter of Moviemento Cosecha, a national
immigrants’ rights organization, helped introduce and support
the passage of the “driver’s licenses for all” bill. Its
volunteers helped win support for driver’s licenses for all from
the Washtenaw County commissioners and the Washtenaw Sheriff’s
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws
to allow unauthorized immigrants to get a driver’s license.
Michigan law allowed it until 2008. In recent years, immigrants
with traffic violations have been the fastest growing group of
people facing deportation.
Last fall, state Sens. Stephanie Chang and Winnie Brinks,
and Representatives Alex Garza and Rachel Hood introduced
legislation to restore undocumented immigrants’ access to
drivers’ licenses with Senate Bills 0631 and 0632 and
House Bills 5192 and 5193.
A driver’s license is the primary form of identification, and
almost every hospital, business, and government offices requires
one for service.
“Undocumented immigrants need drivers licenses to take their
kids to school, go to work, and visit the doctor,” said
Sergio Hurtado, a Cosecha volunteer. “Getting pulled over is
the number one reason that undocumented immigrants come into
contact with police and a detention system that can soon lead to
With the corona-virus pandemic, immigrants without ID can be
denied service, and the fear of being deported leaves many
unwilling to even pursue testing and medical care, he said.
“We know that a license doesn’t protect us from deportation but
it gives us a little relief when we try to rent a home, work,
leave our children at school, and go shopping,” said Yamalith
C., an undocumented Cosecha volunteer from Honduras.
“That’s why we are demanding the return of our drivers’
licenses—because it is a right that we have earned."