View Full Version : Update on MI DL issue: Bill ready to be signed by Governor

02-14-2008, 06:45 PM
Got this just now!

"Today, the Senate voted unanimously to pass the House version to fix the
current crisis with the driver's license that would allow those legally
present in the U.S. to be eligible to receive a driver's license.

It will soon be presented to Governor Granholm for her signature."

Victory at last!

02-14-2008, 06:46 PM
:)....thank You Thank You

02-14-2008, 06:48 PM
Kudos to IV team

Big congratulations to Walking_Dude, mbartosik, srini

You are all true heroes.

02-14-2008, 07:05 PM
Great Job Vivek,Srini , Mark and sundar .Proud to be IVian

02-14-2008, 08:43 PM
This is fantastic news.

Another victory for IV.

02-14-2008, 09:01 PM
Great news. Kudos to Vivek ,Srini and MBartosik, whose unrelenting and steeled resolve on this issue is tremendous.

The Governor has promised to sign this as soon as it arrives at her desk. To her credit she has applied pressure on the legislature behind the scenes too. I got a letter from her office yesterday mentioning that she is eagerly awaiting a bill on her desk.

I was pleasantly surprised that the final bill is less restrictive, and more close to the previous guidelines for LEGAL immigrants. I must admit I did not expect much more than provisions in other states where time limited temporary permits would be issued. I guess strong advocacy does work!
Even Lou Dobbs show was docile about this in their reporting tonight. They mentioned the ACLU lawsuit, but stated that it was requesting clarification on the issue of asylum seekers could get licences.

Well done guys.

02-14-2008, 10:21 PM
MI Activists, When it matters you stood before everyone. Your passion is really amazing and inspiring. Congrats,

02-14-2008, 10:26 PM
Congratulations Walking_Dude, mbartosik, srini and other MI state members.

This is an example for other state chapters and shows that IV is growing as a strong voice of immigrants.

02-14-2008, 11:43 PM
Congrats to all the MI legal immigrants and kudos to the IV team that worked hard for this success!

02-14-2008, 11:49 PM
Congratulations!!! well done MI participants who made this a big success, hats off to you all..

02-15-2008, 12:13 AM
This is awesome

02-15-2008, 12:56 AM
Unity Pays back Always! Congrats!

02-15-2008, 01:41 AM
There is one bad thing about house bill, license expires at end of status (maybe).

I had hoped that we could try to get 180 day grace period, but between being worn out (too many 3am and 4am nights), more letters needed, and seeing overwhelming forces coming into play, we were not able to put enough effort into that.

There were 4 possible outcomes that I could see:

1) No license (the question was how long this would stand)
2) Senate bill 962 (very bad, I think we helped sink this)
3) House bill 4505 (only bad thing is expires with status, but may have loop holes)
4) House bill 4505 amended with a grace period.

I think there might be potential favorable loop holes in house bill 4505 (thus the 'maybe'), much will depend on SOS rules. I think that it was great that we helped to shift momentum to option 3 because options 1 and 2 really stank. Given the MI politics as explained to me by local insiders, it is double great that we helped shift momentum to house bill 4505 and away from senate bill 962, and away from status quo.

As part of chasing members of Congress for letters this week, I had mentioned MI DL to a staffer in DC. She was already aware of the mess (while being unaware of our GC issues). When staffers in DC think you have screwed up you probably ought to do something about it. That is when I realized there were overwhelming forces driving things and option 4 would not have time for consideration. Also a Dem Staffer in MI that I spoke with had already tried for a grace period (someone who understood the system), and she said words to the effect of 'talking to a brick wall' (my Brit phrase).

But I did not expect resolution this quickly! If I had to bet, it would have been for next week or week after. My guess was that there would be a race between law suit outcome and legislature, and that gave legislature at most two more weeks before a judge would likely grant an injunction. I think that the complaint that ACLU filed was robust and compelling and importantly not complex making it harder for SOS to fight. I would have been shocked if an injunction was not granted (although the response to the complaint had not been filed), although a judge could delay judgment while legislature made its mind up.


Just letters to concentrate on now :D

02-15-2008, 10:42 AM
Thanks guys. It was teamwork that paid off. Mark did a tremendous job behind the scenes . One of our chapter members also participated in ACLU lawsuit. We also had the issues ,faced by our community, covered in Detroit News.


One member of Immigration Voice, a group of foreign-born professionals in the United States, describes how he came to America in 1999 as an international student and was later hired on an H-1B temporary visa. His green card application has been pending for years. He has not visited his home country for five years and recently moved to Michigan from Missouri for work reasons.

"My Missouri license will expire in days, and I can't get a Michigan driver's license. I can't walk 11 miles to work in this cold weather, since there is no bus service and I can't take time off to go to my home country" to attempt to obtain an "international" driver's license.

02-15-2008, 11:04 AM
Great work by IV to highlight the injustice within the framework of democracy. From the posts, it appears that governor's initiative and her truth-seeking and honest stance was critical.

Celebrate the victory of truth BUT do not forget the well-wishers and honest, spirited people with high integrity and leadership. It would have been so easy for her to go with the status quo.

Fair and just people in this country would continue to address injustice. All such people deserve kudos.

Please do not make it a narrow, IV-only victory. The team wins. Alert MI members, IV platform & leadership and great leaders in MI with character and vision.

This is my take.

02-15-2008, 12:12 PM
So its a done deal now? Gov has signed the new bill?

Good news for immigrants! Maybe MI DL law can be used as a template for fixing things in lot of other states.

02-15-2008, 01:57 PM

and here is the law

02-15-2008, 02:08 PM


02-15-2008, 02:10 PM
Congratulations Folks. This is inspiring for all of us.

.................................................. ............
$220 till date + Rose Campaign + Letter to President


02-15-2008, 02:24 PM
I came to US on student visa and spent 3 years in Michigan. And then (1998) I got a license valid for 5 years, no problem. Now not only will they be requiring to prove you have a legal status but also they will issue "aliens" only temporary licenses. Means yearly renewal for those on EADs and students (who have D/S - duration of status on their I-94s):cool: The same crap has been already implemented in other states and is the way Real ID act requires.

02-15-2008, 02:31 PM
I came to US on student visa and spent 3 years in Michigan. And then (1998) I got a license valid for 5 years, no problem. Now not only will they be requiring to prove you have a legal status but also they will issue "aliens" only temporary licenses. Means yearly renewal for those on EADs and students (who have D/S - duration of status on their I-94s):cool: The same crap has been already implemented in other states and is the way Real ID act requires.

Its good because it shows we can achieve positive outcome if we put our efforts in it, and the people on the bench should realize EAD+AP != GC and need to get involved to solve the bigger issue facing us. There should be at least 25K letters by month end, and IV should have a fund of at least 250K per month.

02-19-2008, 05:12 PM
Any news on this?

02-19-2008, 05:32 PM
Governor Granholm has signed the law.


"Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation into
law that restores the ability of all legal residents to obtain driver's
licenses. Governor Granholm sent a letter to state lawmakers in
asking them to move quickly in resolving the issue to avoid a
detrimental impact on the state's ability to attract jobs and
to Michigan.

"As we work to recruit international business and investment to
Michigan, we need to ensure that the employees of those international
companies can conduct their business and personal lives while they are
residing and working in Michigan," Granholm said. "This legislation
sends the right message to businesses and workers from around the
We want you to come and do business in Michigan."

The legislation amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to address concerns
raised by Michigan businesses and foreign governments regarding an
opinion issued by state Attorney General Cox on December 27, 2007. In
that opinion, the attorney general determined that only permanent
residents may obtain a driver's license in Michigan and that
living here legally, but on a temporary basis, must be denied a
That opinion led to a decision by the secretary of state to require
first-time applicants for a Michigan driver's license to prove they
established a permanent legal residence in Michigan.

In signing the legislation that restores the ability of all legal
residents to obtain drivers' licenses, Governor Granholm applauded
lawmakers for their bipartisan cooperation in passing the legislation.

There are approximately 400,000 foreign business people, students, and
their families in Michigan on visas, many employed in the auto industry
and other important sectors.

The new law is Public Act 7 of 2008 (HB 4505)."

02-19-2008, 05:41 PM
Congrats! to all who have worked behind the scenes and lead the effort to get this resolved for the community members and all legal immigrants.