The Jersey City Council unanimously approved a resolution that urges NJ lawmakers to enact legislation permitting undocumented residents to obtain driverâ€™s license issued by Motor Vehicle Commission.
Currently, New Jersey law prohibits individuals who cannot provide lawful presence in the United States from obtaining driverâ€™s licenses.
The states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, Utah, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico are issuing driverâ€™s licenses based on immigration status.
Issuing driverâ€™s licenses to immigrants has proven to have a positive effect on public safety and the local economy by increasing mobility of the work force based on the statistics cited in the resolution.
â€œThe opportunity for people to have access to driverâ€™s license opens the doors to the quality of life of an American citizen,” said Council President Rolando Lavarro
Johanna Calle, program coordinator of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, stood before Jersey City Council to speak on behalf of the importance of supporting the resolution.
She also had the support of Anakbayan NJ, The Filipino Immigrants and Workers Organizing Project (FIWOP), and The Sharing Place – who stood beside her during her address.
â€œJersey City is the largest immigrant city in the stateâ€ Calle told Hudson County View. â€œThis is a huge deal and we are hoping to see more of these resolutions passed across the state.