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NJ Immigrant Driving Bill Held for Revisions [AUDIO]

Legislation granting driving privileges to some New Jersey residents living in the United States illegally was pulled from the Assembly Transportation Committee Thursday by the bill’s sponsor so it can be retooled.  

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NJ Driver's License (NJ MVC)
NJ Driver’s License (New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission)

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) said he wants to alter the legislation so that the same group of immigrants would be eligible for an actual driver’s license.

“That’s another thing that they (undocumented immigrants) want to discuss. Since they’re already qualified to have driving privileges under the Dream Act then New Jersey should offer them the full-fledged driver’s license,” said Gusciora.

He plans to meet with stakeholders as he redrafts his bill which could take until the summer when the legislature is on its annual break.

The eligibility requirements for a license would be the same as under the original version. Applicants could be up to 30 years old, and must have lived in the country for at least five years. They can’t have a criminal record and must have graduated from a U.S. high school or be a veteran.

Why did Gusciora originally want driving privilege cards only? He said it was to appease critics.

“That was the language to make it palatable for New Jersey residents who are skeptical of granting privileges to resident aliens,” Gusciora explained. “Since they’re already qualified to drive by federal grant then New Jersey should really think about granting them full driver’s licenses.”

Under New Jersey law, a driver’s license applicant must produce six points of identification to prove they are who they say they are. Gusciora said it hasn’t been determined if undocumented immigrants would have to do the same.

“The federal government is obviously overlooking that for purposes of the Dream Act. New Jersey has to resolve that issue,” Gusciora said.

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