Bridgeton asks NJ to issue drivers licenses to undocumented residents
The Bridgeton city council received a standing ovation after unanimously passing a resolution calling on the state legislature to consider issuing drivers licenses to illegal residents.
It's a big issue in the South Jersey community, which has an estimated 11,000 undocumented immigrants in its population. Many of those attending the packed meeting were apparently relying on a translator to explain the proceedings, according to the South Jersey Times.
But some of those attending said eligibility for drivers licenses would at least provide a mechanism for officials to determine their ability to read traffic signs and observe motor vehicle laws.
"It's not only important to have the license,'' Harry Paraisrn told the Times, "but to know the regulations of driving. To be educated about driving.''
According to New Jersey Policy Perspective, 11 states allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
An NJPP report issued last fall, Share the Road: Allowing Eligible Undocumented Residents Access to Driver’s Licenses Makes Sense for New Jersey, states that letting the undocumented drive legally would make New Jersey’s roads safer by reducing the number of uninsured motorists. It would also generate economic benefits for the state and help to strengthen families that are in New Jersey illegally, according to the report.
David Matthau contributed to this report.
- Bridgeton council approves push for licensing undocumented residents / South Jersey Times