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Proposal would give NJ ‘driving privilege cards’ to illegal immigrants

The Motor Vehicle Commission would be required to issue driving privilege cards to New Jersey resident who can’t prove in they’re in the country legally if Assemblywoman Annette Quijano’s bill becomes law.

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Quijano (D-Union), said she is putting the finishing touches on the measure and hopes it will be considered by the legislature in September.

“We are in the amendment stages of the bill. We have been meeting with stakeholders here in New Jersey as well as with stakeholders throughout the country,” said Quijano. “This bill would require the MVC to issue driving privilege cards to applicants who are New Jersey residents, but cannot provide proof of their authorized presence in the United States.”

Under the bill, an applicant must surrender to the MVC any driver’s license that was issued by a state or political subdivision of the United States. The bill also requires that an applicant affirm in writing that he or she does not have a criminal history record in this state or any other jurisdiction.

In order to get an official driver’s license in New Jersey, a person must provide six points of identification. Quijano said work is still being done to determine what an undocumented person applying for a driving privilege card would need to provide in terms of identification.

“We would have a list of documents that you would have to provide, but we’re still reviewing the documents and we’re using other states’ best practices,” Quijano explained.

The measure would offer undocumented residents an opportunity to drive legally, while not compromising the security of the state’s official driver’s license, according to the bill’s statement.

“This bill is about is about safety and it’s about making sure that we protect drivers on the road from uninsured motorists by  requiring that those individuals who receive a driving privilege card would know the rules of the road just like everyone else, have proper insurance and have properly registered vehicles,” Quijano said.

Opponents say the bill only makes life easier for people who are in the country illegally.

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