By Liliana Ospina
The breakfast and 15th Annual Economic Forum were organized successfully by the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Detroit, where the governor of Michigan talked about several important issues for Michigan.
This annual event brings together the main Hispanic leaders in Michigan and this year had Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer as a special guest.
During her presentation, the governor explained the audience about the problematic road conditions and about her proposal to solve this matter.
The governor talked about how the state's budget will help address that problem, which will be raised through a gas tax increase and other initiatives.
The possible gas increase has generated many controversies, as many economists in Michigan say that it will affect thousands of people in the state, especially the poorest.
Hundreds of people listened eagerly to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and the public was allowed to ask questions shortly, through the event’s moderator.
At Latinos in Michigan TV, we had the opportunity to ask the moderator a question about driving licenses, and he did it in the following way:
Someone asks: Tell us about driver's licenses for immigrants?
Do you have any idea if that is something that will be available in the future?
To which the governor replied: "Good. Yes. One of the things that happened in this last election is that we chose Jocelyn Benson as Secretary of State and we chose Dana Nessel as Attorney General. Garlin Gilchrist and I were elected to the executive office, and that tells me we have a real opportunity, either to reduce the barriers to vote and making sure we're going to give people an ID in our state. Those are things we're going to do."
However, the governor was emphatic in affirming that it will not be something easy, but it is something that she plans to work within the near future.
"But we still have legislation that we have to work on, and we need bylaws change. That is going to take a real effort, like the budget I've been talking about. However, I'm committed to conducting a round of consultation on that front, and I know that the Secretary of State and the Attorney General are also, and that tells me we're going to have much greater success, and that's something we want to do."
The governor has positive expectations regarding this issue, which is encouraging for the undocumented community in Michigan, that has been anxiously awaiting the re-issuance of licenses to immigrants, regardless of their legal status in the state.
Something that some state congressmen, like Stephanie Chang, have tried to achieve through several legislations that until now have not had any results.
At the end of the event, Latinos In Michigan TV, along with other journalists, had the opportunity to speak with the governor, who expressed interest in more people making Michigan their home.
"We're trying to make sure we have a government that works for everyone and that Michigan is a place where people want to come to create a life, build a business and start a family."
Although there is no concrete answer to when driving licenses would be granted to undocumented immigrants, the truth is that Governor Gretchen Whitmer is open to the possibility of working for a solution that allows thousands of undocumented immigrants in Michigan to reach their driving license.