Activists hold rally in support of giving licenses to undocumented residents

Posted: Updated:

Dozens of activists held a rally in Woodbridge Thursday, urging state lawmakers to approve legislation that would give driver’s licenses to New Jersey residents living in the United States illegally.

The group delivered a petition with over 15,000 signatures to New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin’s office, in order to inspire him to support the bill that expands access to New Jersey driver’s licenses.

Supporters of the bill say that with the upcoming REAL ID implementation, more state residents will face barriers when acquiring a state ID, including driver’s licenses.

RELATED: Lawmaker supports bill for driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants
RELATED: NJ lawmakers introduce bill to expand access to driver’s licenses 

“We’ve heard stories of parents will have to take a cab or Uber to take their kids to the hospital in an emergency because they don't have a car. I mean, this is a real-life impact of not having a driver’s license,” says Johanna Calle with New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.

Advocates also say that having licensed drivers on New Jersey’s roadways makes everyone safer by making sure drivers are identifiable and insured.

Over 500,000 New Jersey residents would benefit from the expansion of access to a standard state ID and driver's license option. The licenses can only be used for driving and would not be valid for voting or getting on a plane.

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