Legislators’ Petition Opposes Driver’s Licenses for Noncitizens

Jan 16, 2019

Sen. Christopher J. Connors,  Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove and Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf of the 9th Legislative District have started an online petition in opposition to pending state legislation that would allow New Jersey to issue driver’s licenses to persons who are, the delegation noted, “unable to prove lawful presence in the United States.”

Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), a sponsor of the bill, pointed out that if noncitizens are driving without a license, insurance or registration, “it creates a hazard on the road. If you get in an accident with them, the damage may not be covered. This will improve roadway safety, be good for the economy and allow undocumented residents to support themselves and their families.”

The 9th District lawmakers, though, said in a joint statement that they are against what they see as an attempt “to firmly establish New Jersey as a sanctuary state.

“Our new online petition will give New Jersey residents a stronger voice on this issue while demonstrating to Trenton the level of intense opposition to rewarding persons who are in our country illegally at the expense of taxpaying citizens.”

The legislators posed a number of questions related to the pending measure: “How lenient will the documentation requirements for illegals be? What additional resources will be needed by the Motor Vehicle Commission to process persons without official documentation and at what cost to taxpayers? Will applicants with criminal records be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Will state policy require MVC staff to have a driver’s license in one hand and voter registration form in the other?

“These are all serious concerns that residents should be strongly considering as the debate on this controversial issue intensifies,” stated Connors, Gove and Rumpf.

The petition is found at senatenj.com/sanctuarystate. —J.K.-H.

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