Wally Czajkowski: Voting yes on Question 4 makes sense

Letter to the Editor, Daily Hampshire Gazette, October 31, 2022

Vote yes on ballot question 4! This will affirm the Work and Family Mobility Act, which will allow every eligible driver to apply for a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status.

As a farmer, I’ve worked with immigrants throughout my whole career, and I’ve seen what an asset they are to this country. Undocumented people feed our whole state — their work is the backbone of agriculture and the food service industry. They also pay taxes, raise kids, and go to church. They’re part of our communities.

Most of us, if we look back a couple of generations, should be able to empathize with recent immigrants because our forebears went through similar challenges to come to the United States. My own grandparents were immigrants from Poland and I know how hard they worked to build a better life for themselves and their children, which is exactly what today’s recent immigrants are doing. Wanting that is the most natural thing in the world. But the immigration system has changed since my grandparents arrived — it was a lot easier for them to come to the U.S. then just by being sponsored by family or an employer. Many people think that the pathway to legal residency is straightforward, but it can take a decade or more and cost tens of thousands of dollars, if it ever even happens.

In the meantime, people should be able to get around safely, and making driver’s licenses available to everyone will make the roads safer too. Seventeen other states have passed similar laws and have seen a drop in hit and runs and in uninsured drivers. You don’t have to agree with anything else I’ve written to see the sense in that and to vote yes on question 4 on Nov. 8!

Wally Czajkowski
Plainville Farm in Hadley