Michigan Rabbis Call on the Michigan Legislature to Pass 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. 

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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