Republican Massachusetts Governor-elect Charlie Baker said he would oppose current Democrat Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
“I don’t support issuing driver’s licenses to people who are undocumented,” Baker reportedly said on the Boston Herald’s Friday radio show days after he was elected in a blue state that overwhelmingly voted for President Barack Obama twice.
According to the Herald, Massachusetts recently “received a waiver from the Federal Real ID act, which ramps up the qualifications to receive a state driver’s license to prevent terrorists from using easily obtained IDs to enter federal buildings or get on planes.” The Homeland Security Department said that Massachusetts would “have the ability” to issue “special driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants as part of its plan to comply with a tougher federal ID law” under Patrick’s proposal. In other words, Massachusetts, like California, will be allowed to issue “‘non-compliant’ driver’s licenses that look different from ones held by legal citizens and cannot be used to board planes or give access to federal buildings.”
During his gubernatorial campaign against Martha Coakley, Baker said he opposed the Patrick administration’s legislation to allow the state to issue licenses to illegal immigrants by 2017. His Democrat opponent Coakley supported it. Local politicians in Massachusetts criticized the Patrick administration for being out of touch with Main Street.
Last week in Oregon, another blue state, voters resoundingly rejected a ballot initiative to allow the state to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. More votes were cast against driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants (960,377) in Oregon than for its Democrat governor (712, 654 votes for Gov. John Kitzhaber) or senator (792, 298 for Democrat Jeff Merkley).