Hundreds chanted in Spanish at the War Memorial and marched through Trenton for the right to get a New Jersey driver’s license — even though they’re in the U.S. without the proper documents. They testified before the Assembly Homeland Security Committee. Carla Estrada talked about spending hours on the bus.
Sponsors say a driver’s license could enhance the lives of more than 450,000 undocumented people who live and work in New Jersey. About a dozen states already already offer the privilege — and, like the California version — would be restricted to state use only with a printed warning: “Federal Limits May Apply.”
But in the wake of attacks by ISIS terrorists in Paris, the proposed license legislation encountered stiff resistance.
“If you look at just what happened around the world, TSA confirmed that those licenses could be utilized to get on airplanes. That was just in the last few months. There are a lot of things that do impact on national security issues,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi.
Governor Christie issued a statement condemning the bill, saying to give “…the most important piece of Homeland Security identification…to people with no definitive proof of their identity…in the current environment is not only irresponsible, but dangerous.”
The governor flatly stated, if this bill ever gets to his desk, he will veto it “immediately.” With Republican lawmakers also expressing deep concerns, this driver’s license proposal faces a very difficult road.