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Support Statement: Detroit Jews for Justice

Michigan Rabbis Call on the Michigan Legislature to Passs Driver’s Licenses for All

To the Michigan Legislature: Undocumented Michiganders deserve dignity and security—one critical step to making that a reality is to restore driver’s licenses for all. Over the last seven years, undocumented Michiganders and their allies have gotten the Drive SAFE bills introduced five times, but the bills have never passed. That wait cannot continue. We, the undersigned Michigan Rabbis, call on the Michigan Legislature to pass the Drive SAFE bills in this legislative session.

This is common sense legislation. In Michigan, home of the auto industry, a driver’s license is key to moving freely and safely. Driver’s licenses allow people to go through the basic activities of everyday life—getting groceries, dropping off children, commuting to work—without the fear they will get separated from their families. Further, driver’s licenses for all will make our roads safer since more people will have taken driving lessons and have access to car insurance. And lastly, Michigan is experiencing population decline—just as we want to make Michigan safe for LGBTQ+ people, workers, and women, this legislation will show that Michigan is a place immigrants can build lives. As Jews, we are especially called to join this effort; we know from our history that it is painful and worrisome to be denied the same rights as our neighbors— to be treated as an other. We will not stand for our undocumented friends and family to be treated this way. As Jews, we also know that whether we’re walking down the streets of our neighborhoods or through the doors of our holy spaces, freedom and safety for any of us depends on freedom and safety for all of us. Together we can build a Michigan for all of us, no exceptions.

That is why we—a group of Rabbis in Michigan—have come together to urge Michigan Representatives to pass the Drive SAFE bills (SB 0267, SB 0265, SB 0266, HB 4410, HB 4411, HB 4412) before summer recess. It is more risky to do nothing than to protect fellow Michiganders.

Sincerely, Rabbi Asher Lopatin, Kehillat Etz Chayim, Executive Director of JCRC/AJC Metro Detroit Rabbi Jeffrey Falick, Cong. for Humanistic Judaism of Metro Detroit Rabbi Alicia Harris, Congregation Shir Tikvah, Troy Rabbi David Polsky Rabbi Alana Alpert, Congregation T'Chiyah, Ferndale Rabbi Nate DeGroot, The Shalom Center Rabbi Simone Schicker, Temple B'nai Israel, Kalamazoo Rabbi David Fain Rabbi Tamara Kolton Ph.D. Rabbi Ariana Silverman, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Detroit Rabbi Aura Ahuvia Rabbi Jeffrey Ableser, Temple Beth El, Flint Rabbi Joe Klein, Temple Emanu-El (Oak Pak), Rabbi Emeritus Rabbi David A. Nelson, Temple B'nai Shalom Benton Harbor Rabbi David JB Krishef, Grand Rapids Rabbi Jeff Stombaugh, The Well Rabbi Matthew J. Zerwekh, Temple Emanu-El, Oak Park Rabbi Dorit Edut, Temple Beth Israel, Bay City Rabbi Michael Schadick, Temple Emanuel, Grand Rapids Rabbi Lisa Stella Rabbi Ari Witkin Rabbi Nadav Caine, Beth Israel Congregation, Ann Arbor Rabbi Steven Rubenstein, Congregation Beth Ahm Rabbi Marla Hornsten, Temple Israel Rabbi Megan Brudney, Temple Beth El, Bloomfield Hills Rabbi Josh Whinston


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