Earlier this week, the New Jersey Legislature moved forward with a bill that would grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
The New Jersey Safe and Responsible Driver Act (A4425), would grant driver’s licenses to undocumented resident in New Jersey who are able to provide a variety of documented to the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission, pay a fee, and abide by all the laws and regulations surrounding the operation of motor vehicles in the state of New Jersey.
The bill also makes it clear that the driving permits would be exclusive for New Jersey residents, and that in now way would the grant legal status to the recipients.
— North Jersey News (@NorthJerseybrk) November 17, 2015
Having cleared the state Assembly’s homeland security committee on a partisan vote, the bill now heads to the Assembly’s appropriations committee – but faces an uncertain future, as Governor Chris Christie has called the bill “dangerous” and has chastised the state legislature for considering it.
“As a former United States Attorney, I know that the driver’s license is the single most important piece of homeland security identification,” Christie said. “Yet, the Legislature proposes giving that to people with no definitive proof of their identity. To consider doing this in the current environment is not only irresponsible, but dangerous.”
“If it were to ever reach my desk, it would be vetoed immediately,” [Christie] added.
This is the latest attack that Christie has dealt to the immigrant community; specifically to the immigrants residing within his own state – many of whom are rallied outside of the legislature on Monday in support of the driver’s license measure.
— 1199SEIU NJ (@1199SEIU_NJ) November 16, 2015
It is important to remember that this is the same Chris Christie that signed into law a bill that would grant undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities within New Jersey. And the same Chris Christie who, a couple months ago, also supported a path to citizenship. But, he doesn’t any longer. The #TrumpEffect has taken control of him now.
Perhaps Christie would be supportive of granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, if and only if, it meant that he could track immigrants across the state like FedEx packages.