Providence’s Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Thomas J Tobin, has announced that he supports the idea of giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants on Rhode Island.
The Bishop released a statement earlier today in which he noted that the idea of fully comprehensive immigration reform has long been supported by the Catholic Bishops of the United States and that until that takes place, it is inevitable that controversial issues such as providing undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses will eventuate.
Tobin’s statement made it clear that he supports the idea of giving individuals with undocumented status in Rhode Island the right to have special, limited driver’s licenses, not least because it appears to be a practical way of collecting information about people who in most cases are already operating motor vehicles within the state.
Tobin commented that the current Pope actually comes from an immigrant family himself and that he has asked for immigrants to be welcomed by the American people. Tobin also added that allowing undocumented immigrants access to a form of driver’s license would also help to promote public safety, describing it as “common sense legislation” that would help more than it would harm.
The statement given by the Roman Catholic Bishop ended with a call for people on both sides of the issue to talk about it in a constructive and reasonable manner while working together for the good of the community in general.