Jersey City to vote on immigrant driver's license bill

UPDATE: The council has voted unanimously to approve the resolution to support the state bill to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses.

The Jersey City City Council will vote on a resolution that would endorse a state bill to make it easier for undocumented immigrants to get a driver's license in New Jersey.

Joanna Calle, of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, says that roads will be safer by requiring immigrants to take classes and driving tests. She says the licenses would also benefit New Jersey financially.

"About $209 million would come in the form of insurance premiums," she says. "Premiums would drop for everyone across the state and $5 million would be received in licensing fees."

Studies have shown that 464,000 immigrants would be eligible in New Jersey.

Jersey City residents who spoke to News 12 New Jersey about the plan mostly seem to support it.

"If people are living here...and trying to get by and work, if they need a driver's license, then by all means, they should have one," says resident Donna Trias.

However, not everyone in New Jersey agrees with the proposal.

News 12 New Jersey viewer Richard Galvin wrote on Facebook, "If you are in this country undocumented, you shouldn't be afforded rights and privileges of tax paying American citizens."

Jersey City Council President Rolando R. Lavarro introduced the measure. He expects it will pass at a council meeting Wednesday night. If approved, Jersey City would be the eighth municipality to pass this type of resolution.

Ten other states, and Washington D.C. already have this policy in place.

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