Skip to content

Cosecha activists show up at the home of Rep. Wentworth, the same guy who cancelled the public hearing on driver’s licenses over a year ago

December 4, 2022

Early Sunday morning, Cosecha activists from several circles around the state, converged on the small town of Claire, Michigan, to pay a visit to the home of Rep. Jason Wentworth.

The focus of the immigrant-led action was centered around the issue of driver’s licenses. Pressuring the state legislature to allow undocumented immigrants the right to obtain driver’s license has been a priority of Movimiento Cosecha since they began a campaign in 2018.

However, the main reason that the immigrant justice activists went to House Speaker Jason Wentworth’s home on the brisk Sunday morning, had to do with the fact that since the legislation for Driver’s Licenses had been introduced in 2019, there had been no public hearings held on the matter until September of 2021. Some 150 immigration justice activists arrived Lansing that day, to speak during the public hearing that was being held on driver’s licenses. Unfortunately, just minutes before the public hearing was about the begin, the Speaker of the Michigan State House of Representatives, Jason Wentworth, cancelled the public hearing, thus denying immigrant activists the chance to speak and share their stories about the difficulties of raising families and working in a state that denies them the right to obtain a driver’s license.

Undeterred by Wentworth’s cancellation of a public hearing, Movimiento Cosecha activists came back to Lansing one year later to hold a 3 day encampment outside of the Lansing State Capitol. In addition to the encampment, immigration justice activists attended State House Legislative sessions, which were also canceled because there were so few in attendance. The reason that so many State Representatives were not present for the scheduled session, was because they were spending time on their own campaigns for re-election, instead of doing what they were supposed to do. Movimiento Cosecha members found out this information after visiting Rep. Wentworth’s office, and a staff member informed them that he was out campaigning. 

Since, Rep. Wentworth canceled the public hearing on driver’s licenses, has not been available to residents of Michigan to discuss the matter and has never provided a reason for cancelling the scheduled public hearing in the fall of 2021, those with Movimiento Cosecha decided to show up at his house.

As Cosecha action’s go, this was a small action, but it was not necessary to have large numbers, especially considering the fact that they were going to the home of an elected official, in a small town, and in an area where there were no sidewalks. 

The Cosecha action involved 12 people, some with banners, some with signs and some with sound amplifying equipment, walking up the driveway of Rep. Wentworth’s home and singing along to the music that was playing. This all began around 8:15am on Sunday.

Now, Cosecha activists came to Wentworth’s home to make a statement and had hope to speak with him about the need to immediately schedule another public hearing and then adopt legislation that would once again allow undocumented immigrants the chance to obtain a driver’s license. 

The Sunday morning air was chilly, but activists didn’t let the cold stop them from making the most out of their action. After playing music and chanting for about 20 minutes, a few of the Cosecha organizers walked up the Rep. Wentworth’s home and began knocking on the door. It was clear that someone was home, both because we saw people pulling curtains back and peering out the widows, plus someone was walking back and forth in the living room. 

Unfortunately, no one came to the door, so one of the Cosecha organizers made a statement in English and then in Spanish, a statement that provided an overview of their campaign and what it was so critically important that the very same people who put food on the table for most people in Michigan, those who work in the agriculture industry, should be granted the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license. The Cosecha organizer made this statement in English, looking directing into the security camera that was mounted on the front porch of Rep. Wentwroth’s home, a camera which happened to be just above a sign that read, “Welcome to our home.” 

After standing on the porch of the house for 20 minutes, the Cosecha activists rejoined there comrades in the driveway, where they sang more songs, chanted more chants and made their presence known to the Republican Speaker of the House in Michigan. Cosecha Michigan live-streamed the action, which you can watch at this link.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the New Year, especially now that the Democrats control all aspects of the State government in Michigan. We will see if the Democrats prioritize getting driver’s licenses passed or if it will take a back seat to other issues. One thing for sure is that you can bet that Movimiento Cosecha and other immigrant justice groups will continue to apply pressure and to demand that State officials pass legislation to allow the undocumented community the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license. Immigrant justice activists are well aware of the fact that no matter which political party is in power they will not get their demands met by elected officials unless those same officials are pressured into doing to. #HastaLaHuelga!

%d bloggers like this: