By: Brian Genest – 10/22
The Massachusetts legislature has a reputation for coming up with bad ideas and turning them into law. Giving illegal immigrants state driver’s licenses is the latest one. What could possibly go wrong? Everything!
The new law, slated to take effect in July 2023, is one that affects the public safety of every person in our state. It became law after state legislators overrode a veto by Gov. Charlie Baker, who warned that, because the state currently automatically registers driver’s license applicants to vote, the new law could lead to confusion about voter eligibility. Baker said the Registry of Motor Vehicles doesn’t have the capacity to verify the identities of immigrants without legal status and cautioned that the law significantly increases the risk that noncitizens will be registered to vote.
In other words, first, illegal immigrants will get driver’s licenses, then they’ll be casting ballots in our elections. That’s the kind of slippery slope we don’t need in our state.
If there’s anyone who understands this issue, including the tragic impact of an illegal immigrant behind the wheel, it’s Maureen Maloney of Milford. In 2011, Maloney’s 23-year-old son, Matthew Denice, was struck on his motorcycle and dragged to his death by a drunk driver, an illegal alien from Ecuador without a license. (That illegal alien should have already been deported: He had a string of traffic violations on his driving record dating to 2007, including driving without a license. Milford police also arrested him in early 2008 for assault and battery on a police officer and breaking and entering. That case was continued without a finding for a year.)
At the time of Denice’s death, Gov. Deval Patrick appeared to have a soft spot for criminals and strong support for illegal immigration.
“You know, illegal immigration didn’t kill this person, a drunk driver killed this person,” Patrick said, prompting a strong response from the victim’s family about his manners and his opposition to a federal law-enforcement effort by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport dangerous illegal aliens who are repeat criminal offenders.
“Please show a little more respect for my son and at least refer to him by his name, Matthew,” Maloney countered. “This person was an illegal immigrant, and if we had the Secure Communities Act in place, this person may not have had the opportunity to get drunk that day, to get behind the wheel of a car, to kill my child.”
Today, that illegal immigrant is serving more than a decade in prison for killing Denice, after being found guilty of motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter by motor vehicle, reckless endangerment of a child (his 6-year-old son was in the vehicle at the time!), leaving the scene of an accident that caused personal injury or death, failing to stop for police and driving without a license.
Maloney is leading the charge to repeal the law providing driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, as chair of the Fair and Secure Massachusetts committee, which gathered more than 100,000 signatures to place the issue on the November statewide ballot.
Granting driver’s licenses to immigrants who have entered our country illegally rewards them for breaking the law and that makes no sense. It also provides a ridiculous incentive for more illegal immigrants to come to Massachusetts. Worst of all, letting noncitizens vote in our state is nothing short of, well, criminal.
Law and order matters. Election integrity matters. So does common sense.
Unfortunately, common sense isn’t very common in the state legislature, but this time you get to have a say in the voting booth on Tuesday, November 8.
Make your voice heard. Keep our roads safe and our elections secure. Vote no on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Vote “No” on Question 4.
— Brian Genest is the producer and host of Eye On Dracut, winner of the 2022 Hometown Media Award for news, which air on DATV Channel 8 and online at DracutTV.org. ◊