Michigan Immigrant Rights Center
Legislative Alert: Committee Hearing on Drive SAFE Bills to Reinstate Driver's Licenses for All, Regardless of Immigration Status
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 12 PM
It’s official! The time has come. There will be a hearing on House Bill 4835 (Driver's Licenses) and House Bill 4836 (State Identifications)! Since 2008, Michigan has required applicants for driver's licenses and state identification cards to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status by making “legal presence” a requirement for showing Michigan residency. These bills would reinstate driver's licenses for everyone, regardless of immigration status.
On May 11, 2021, the Drive SAFE (Safety, Access, Freedom, Economy) bills were introduced by the following sponsors:
- Senate Bill 433 - Michigan State Senator Chang (D), 1st Senate District
- Senate Bill 434 - Michigan State Senator Brinks (D), 29th Senate District
- House Bill 4835 - Michigan State Representative Kuppa (D), 41st House District
- House Bill 4836 - Michigan State Representative Hood (D), 76th House District
MIRC supports these bills. For further analysis and summary of the bills please visit our previous legislative alert.
Since the introduction of the bills, MIRC has been working with Drive Michigan Forward Coalition, a statewide coalition seeking to reinstate driver's licenses for all Michiganders, regardless of immigration status. Now, HB 4835 and HB 4836 (2021) will have a historic opportunity to be heard before the House Rules and Competitiveness Committee on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 12pm in Room 352 at the State Capitol Building in Lansing.
- ATTEND IN PERSON
The hearing will take place at 12pm in Room 352, House Appropriations, at the State Capitol Building (100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933). If you plan to attend in person, make sure that you arrive early to give yourself enough time to find parking, locate the building, and find seating. Masks are not required, but can be worn at your discretion. Plan to possibly stand the entire time. There is street parking available that requires the use of the parkmobile app. There are also several garage parking options.
- WATCH VIRTUALLY
Can’t attend the hearing in person? No problem! The hearing will be streamed live on HouseTV, and will be archived on the Michigan legislature website. Drive Michigan Forward will also be streaming the hearing on their Facebook page. You will hear from various speakers on the importance of the passage of these bills.
- SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY
Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your testimony:
- Written testimony should be directed to the Members of the House of the Rules and Competitiveness Committeeregarding HB 4835 and HB 4836 (2021).
- If you are not attending the hearing in person you can email your written testimony to the Committee Clerk, Edward Sleeper at email@example.com
- A few days after the hearing your written testimony should be posted on the committee page under "testimony." If you do not see it posted, make sure you follow up with the committee clerk to ensure it was received.
- SUBMIT A CARD IN SUPPORT
Now, take it a step further and put your name and/or organization on the card! If you are representing your organization please make sure that you are authorized to sign on behalf of your organization.
Committee: Rules and Competitiveness
Bill#(s): HB 4835 (2021) and HB 4836 (2021)
- CALL OR EMAIL THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
We encourage you to call or email Rep. Wendzel and Rep. Posthumus and ask them to vote yes on HB 4835 and HB 4836:
- Wendzel (R), 79th District, (517) 373-1403, PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov
- Posthumus (R), 73rd District, (517) 373-0218, BryanPosthumus@house.mi.gov
Visit the Drive Michigan Forward website for more information on how you can take action.
The right to a driver's license provides dignity, security, and a sense of belonging to every Michigander. Michigan should be a state that honors all residents, business owners, families, essential workers, and caregivers. To be a welcoming state with competitive opportunities for all immigrants, we need common-sense laws that ensure that all Michiganders can move safely through our communities. The Drive SAFE (Safety, Access, Freedom, and Economy) bills do just that — promote safe communities, access to our state's amenities and opportunities, freedom to move freely and seek opportunities across the state, and boost our economy.
The Drive SAFE bills reflect the priorities of the Drive Michigan Forward Coalition. MIRC is pleased to be a member organization of the coalition along with many other organizations, immigrant rights advocates, and affected community members across the state.