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Immigrant activists in Massachusetts are renewing their push to allow people living in the country illegally to apply for state driver's licenses.

The Driving Families Forward Coalition held a virtual event Tuesday in support of a bill introduced into the state Legislature this month.

Organizers said the proposed “Work & Family Mobility Act ” is critical for public health during the pandemic because it will enable thousands of residents to avoid carpools and public transportation while also improving their ability to access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

The bill prevents state motor vehicle registry officials from asking about a person’s citizenship or immigration status when they’re seeking a driver’s license, vehicle registration, learner’s permit or state identification.

It would allow people unable to prove U.S. legal status to show other documents proving their identity, birth date and residency in Massachusetts. They’d also have to provide an active foreign passport or a combination of other approved documents.

Sixteen states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. are among the jurisdictions with similar provisions, according to the Massachusetts coalition.

The driver’s license proposal has failed years past because Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been opposed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Associated Press, legislation, infectious diseases, health, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, immigration, coronavirus, lung disease

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School Board Member Who Used Anti-Semitic Slur on TV Resigns

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A school board member in a Massachusetts city has said he is resigning immediately after his use of an anti-Semitic slur on live cable television.

Robert Hoey Jr., 66, announced his resignation in a Facebook video on Friday. He made the anti-Semitic comment during a live episode of the show “City Life,” and a video clip of it surfaced on Wednesday.

Hoey was a member of the Lowell School Committee. He said in his resignation video that people should “condemn what I said,” the Boston Globe reported.

City leaders condemned Hoey's use of the slur and had planned to hold a special session to consider a resolution calling for him to resign. Robert Trestan, the director of the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Boston Globe that he welcomed Hoey’s resignation.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tags: Associated Press, discrimination, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, education

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