Advocates march in Lansing in support of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants

Movimiento Cosecha and its supporters marched in Downtown Lansing on May 1 in support of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. | Photo Courtesy of Movimiento Cosecha

Members of Movimiento Cosecha on Wednesday marched through the center of Downtown Lansing and into the Capitol in support of  “Driver’s License for All” legislation, which would restore the ability of undocumented immigrants to receive a driver’s license in Michigan. 

Movimiento Cosecha, which supports permanent protections for undocumented immigrants, also celebrated International Workers Day, placing a focus on undocumented workers in agriculture, dairy and poultry farming. 

According to a statement, the group marched around the roundabout on Washington Square for about 45 minutes. Then they proceeded to the second floor of the Capitol and chanting, “No driver’s licenses, no vote,” while the House of Representatives was in session, calling on them to pass the Driver’s License for All Legislation. 

In 1995, Democratic Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley issued an opinion that undocumented immigrants could not be denied driver’s licenses. That decision was later reversed in 2007 by Republican Attorney General Michael Cox, with lawmakers going on to pass legislation barring undocumented immigrants from receiving driver’s licenses and state IDs. 

Members of Cosecha previously told the Advance that the lack of a license creates economic barriers, alongside fears that undocumented immigrants will be deported for driving without a license. 20,000 people who were deported in 2019 also convicted of a traffic-related offense, Bloomberg reported.

According to a statement, Cosecha was joined by pro-immigrant organizations like For Our Future Lansing, and LINC Up, while the International Workers of the World and United Farm Workers expressed solidarity with immigrant workers. Freedom Road and Palestine Solidarity Grand Rapids also marched alongside Movimiento Cosecha. 

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