Immigration Voice gives Testimony on Michigan Driver's License Issue

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Immigration is concerned by attempts made by Michigan and several other states, to redefine the meaning of 'legal presence' in more restrictive terms than the Federal government. It finds imposition of greater restrictions on this community than required by the REAL ID law alarming.

Immigration Voice (http://www.immigrationvoice.org), a non-profit grassroots organization working to alleviate the issues faced by legal, highly-skilled immigrants, provided testimony to the transport committee of the Michigan Senate on Bill 962 to give driver's licenses to legal non-permanent residents. The oral testimony was given by Vivek Prabhu, Vice President and Chapter Head of Immigration Voice, Michigan. Another member of the Immigration Voice, Michigan chapter - Srinivas Vemulapalli also provided his testimony on this legislation.

Immigration is concerned by attempts made by Michigan and several other states, to redefine the meaning of 'legal presence' in more restrictive terms than the Federal government. It finds imposition of greater restrictions on this community than required by the REAL ID law alarming. It believes that such redefinition of 'legal presence' is violative of the supremacy clause of the US Constitution as determined by US Supreme Court in the Toll vs. Moreno (458 US 1; 102 S Ct 2977; 73 L Ed 2d 563 (1982))

Immigration Voice through its testimony explained to the committee that US Immigration law allows 'legal presence' on expiry of visa and/or status for a period of 240 days, if the applicant has submitted an application for renewal before the expiry of the status. It also mentioned that definition of temporary resident be left to federal law, instead of Michigan coming up with its own definition.

Vivek Prabhu, after delivering the testimony, said "highly-skilled immigrant community is tired of being used as pawns in the game of partisanship. This victimization for narrow political ends, while facing a long wait for permanent resident status, has put us between a rock and a hard place. Immigration Voice today through its testimony has given a voice to that sense of discontent before the lawmakers"

Immigration Voice urges the committee members to consider the difficulties faced by employment-based immigrants and make suitable changes to the proposed Bill. It opines that integrity and security of Michigan Drivers license can be achieved without making life difficult for law-abiding skilled immigrants. Immigration Voice assures all necessary help to committee members and other Michigan lawmakers in improving the proposed legislation.

About Immigration Voice
Immigration Voice is a non-profit organization (501 (c) (4)) working to alleviate the problems faced by legal high-skilled foreign workers in the United States. For more information please visit: http://www.immigrationvoice.org.

Immigration Voice
P O Box 1372 Arcadia, CA 91077-1372
Telephone: (202) 386-6250. Fax: (202) 403-3853. Email: info@immigrationvoice.org

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Ashish Sharma

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