Youth Appeal to Legislators to Grant Their Christmas Wish—
Driver’s Licenses for their Parents
WHO: The children of undocumented immigrants and other youth, their parents, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU Roxana Rivera, educators with the Boston Teachers Union, union workers, and community allies from the Driving Families Forward coalition.
WHAT: “All I want for Christmas” Press conference for the ability to obtain a Massachusetts Standard Drivers’ license, regardless of immigration status
WHERE: Outside the Massachusetts Statehouse
24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133
WHEN: Wednesday, December 18, 3:15pm
BOSTON: On Wednesday, December 18 at 3:15pm, the children of undocumented immigrants will hold an after school, holiday-themed press conference in front of the Massachusetts Statehouse declaring that all they want for Christmas are Massachusetts standard driver’s licenses for their parents. These young people—who will follow their speak out by delivering Christmas cards with their wishes to legislators—will be joined by their parents, community allies with the Driving Families Forward Coalition, an educator with the Boston Teachers’ Union, and Vice President of 32BJ SEIU Roxana Rivera.
As Christmas, Hanukkah and other major holidays approach, most Massachusetts residents are able to drive to celebrate with family and friends without a second thought; yet, the children of undocumented immigrants live in fear of their parents being detained or deported every time they get in the car for a family outing. Their parents face an impossible choice—risk being pulled over or deprive their children of festive gatherings and religious ceremonies. This same risk is even more heart-wrenching when these same parents face the prospect of either driving their sick children to the doctor or keeping them home. While they try to protect their children from this burden, the children still suffer from fear, anxiety, depression, and stress at the possibility of being separated from their parents, something they see every day in the news with President Trump’s cruel and racist separation of families at our country’s southern border.
If passed, the Work and Family Mobility Act would allow qualified, undocumented immigrants to obtain a standard Massachusetts Drivers’ License. Similar legislation has passed in 15 states and the District of Columbia—in New Jersey, the legislation passed earlier this week. Allowing undocumented immigrants to drive legally has been shown to reduce hit-and-run incidents and improve overall road safety in several of these states.
The WFMA has widespread support across the Commonwealth. At a hearing for the bill in September, 600-plus supporters packed into the statehouse, including affected immigrants and their children, community advocates, doctors, social workers, educators, business leaders, and faith leaders. With immigrants under constant attack by the Trump Administration, it’s time for Massachusetts to take a stand to protect our immigrant friends and neighbors.
With 175,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.
The Driving Families Forward Coalition, led by 32BJ SEIU and the Brazilian Workers’ Center, is made up of 92 endorsing organizations, businesses, faith leaders, and elected officials. The coalition is focused on passing the Work & Family Mobility Act by July 2020.