CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, Communications Director, 410-889-8555; 

Sirine Shebaya, Attorney for Immigrants Rights,

ANNAPOLIS - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland today lauded the Maryland State Senate for voting 29-18 to approve Senate Bill 715, which would provide limited use driver's licenses to Maryland residents who do not have proof of lawful immigration status but can provide documentary evidence of identity and Maryland residence for the past two ears. The cross-filed bill, House Bill 789, was passed with amendments by the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 715 -- the Maryland Highway Safety Act -- provides more Maryland residents with access to the necessities of daily life and helps to improve public safety and security. Without the ability to drive, people cannot perform basic daily functions without hardship, especially in areas where public transportation is not readily available. Limited drivers licenses would benefit a large number of Maryland residents and will result in a dramatic decrease in the number of unlicensed drivers on the road. 

The following may be attributed to Sirine Shebaya, Attorney for Immigrants Rights, ACLU of Maryland: 

"We applaud our Senators for standing up for working families and public safety. We strongly urge our Delegates to do the same. Under this bill, Marylanders will be able to take their children to school, to doctors' appointments, and to extracurricular activities and will be able to drive to and from their places of employment without breaking the law and without fear of being arrested for driving without a license. More drivers on our roads will be trained, tested, and insured, improving highway safety for everyone. Voting in favor of this bill is the responsible and humane choice and will benefit all of Maryland's residents."