Support for Drive SAFE Bills HB 4835, HB 4836, SB 433, & SB 434
May 24, 2021
The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence (MCEDSV) supports the Drive SAFE Package, HB 4835, HB 4836, SB 433, and SB 434. Current Michigan law serves as a powerful weapon in the hands of criminals who seek to commit human trafficking, rape, and other forms of sexual or domestic abuse against immigrants. Survivors deserve to move safely about the state so that they can seek healing and safety.
On any given day in Michigan, nearly 3,000 survivors reach out to MCEDSV’s 73 member agencies for support. Many immigrants are especially vulnerable to sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking crimes because their trafficker or abuser can use the threat of deportation to extract compliance. Survivors who are immigrants may also face language and cultural barriers, social isolation, limited financial resources, and a lack of valid identification—all of which can make victims more dependent on their abusers. As they access services, some survivors must flee abusive partners and homes quickly, which increases the risk of losing access to important documents such as identity documents and driver’s licenses.
This legislation is especially vital in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigrant survivors disproportionately work in essential roles. By continuing to go to work, many such survivors added new health risks to the other safety threats they encounter—all to ensure that other Michiganders would have their food, healthcare, cleaning, and so many additional needs met. MCEDSV would urge action to restore immigrant eligibility for driver’s licenses and identity cards.