Community rallies to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's license

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WOODBRIDGE -

Community members rallied Monday to give New Jersey's undocumented immigrants a chance to get a driver’s license.

Many say they want an easier time getting to work and a license would allow that.

Jairo Palomo has a 30-minute commute to work, something that isn't easy without a license.

"Sometimes I have to call co-workers to see if they can give me a ride," Palomo said through a translator.

Natyelli Alvarez says it would make her life more convenient.

"In order to go grocery shopping, you've got to walk about three miles just to get to a grocery store," she said through a translator.

Alvarez admits when her daughter was sick, she drove illegally to get to a doctor, which is another reason she wants to get licenses approved.

"It's really about a public safety issue," says Johanna Calle from the Alliance for Immigrant Justice. "You and I are driving on the road with folks who are not licensed, who are not tested, who are not insured, who could be getting on the road because they have an emergency and we don't want those folks to be in that way."

Under former Gov. Chris Christie, bills to grant licenses to undocumented immigrants stalled over concerns for national security. Supporters are hoping Governor Murphy is more open to the licenses.

If approved, undocumented immigrants would have a unique license. Past legislation has suggested it would be for driving only in New Jersey and states where it's recognized.

The license would not allow holders to vote or access benefits and wouldn't allow them to board a plane. It would also cost an extra $50.

Supporters say this is an opportune time to pass legislation for the licenses due to the legislation going on break for the holiday soon.

There are 12 other states that allow for such licenses including Connecticut, Delaware and California.

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