New Jersey lawmakers on Monday are considering legislation to permit illegal immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses.
The Democrat-led Assembly Judiciary Committee began hearing the bill in a packed committee room in the statehouse annex building. Many supported the measure, including a handful of people wearing green and yellow T-Shirts that said, “Don’t let these bills die in committee.”
The legislation would create a two-tiered driver’s license system. One license would conform to federal REAL ID requirements that include proof of legal residency. Another license would permit people without a legal status to obtain a license.
Motor Vehicle Commissioner Sue Fulton testified in favor of the legislation. She estimated there are hundreds of thousands of people driving without a license and the measure would ensure they know safety rules and are ensured.
Opponents worry the measure rewards people for breaking the law and could lead to voter fraud because voter registration occurs when obtaining a license.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 13 states and the District of Columbia permit immigrants without legal status to obtain driver’s licenses.