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NJSBA supports legislation on driver’s licenses for immigrants

A bill that creates two categories of driver’s licenses and identification cards and allows residents who are unable to prove lawful presence in the United States to receive permits advanced through the Assembly Judiciary Committee and Senate Transportation Committee after lengthy testimony. The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) supports this legislation because it expands the pool of individuals eligible for licenses, creates a mechanism for individuals to register and insure cars, and provides individuals with the ability to present identification to ease interactions with law enforcement.

“This bill does not grant an individual a legal status they did not have before,” said NJSBA Immigration Law Section Chair Susan Roy during testimony on the bill. ”But what this bill does is it takes into account  the practical reality that immigrants who are attempting to attain legal status here are trying to live their lives as they have always done.” Roy testified before both committees last week.

Other supporters pointed out the importance of issuing driver’s licenses to people who are trained and tested, to make New Jersey’s roads safer. The bill passed along party lines and continues to be heavily debated in both the Legislature and the media.

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as 

amicus in appellate court matters. 

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