BOSTON — Rolando is a leader of the Cosecha group of Salvadoran origin who, together with a group of people, stayed all night from Wednesday to Thursday in front of the State House, waiting for the Senate vote on driver’s licenses.

He says that the torrential rain began to fall at around 5:30 in the morning. He got wet, because the tents couldn’t withstand the tremendous downpour, but he says he is happy. “This is a victory we have been fighting for for more than 20 years,” he said.


Both for Rolando and for thousands of immigrants “neither the rain nor the wind stopped them.” On Thursday afternoon they celebrated the approval of the law that will allow them to have driver’s licenses and no longer fear driving their vehicles to work or taking their children to school.

The Senate, by 32 votes to 8, ratified Wednesday’s vote (119-36) and overrode the veto imposed on Gov. Charlie Baker.

Massachusetts residents will be able to process their licenses starting in July 2023.

Editor’s note: Gerardo Beltrán Salinas is a Chilean journalist currently living in the New Bedford area. He produces video and news stories on topics of interest to the region’s Spanish-speaking community.

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