TRENTON, N.J. – Today the Assembly Judiciary Committee passed a bill (S3229/A4743) along party lines to give illegal immigrants living in New Jersey the ability to obtain driver’s licenses, permits and identification cards through the Motor Vehicle Commission. Assemblyman Erik Peterson said this is another example of Democrats pandering for votes at the expense of law-abiding citizens.
“It’s shameful that Democrats would, again, prioritize giving the privileges associated with citizenship to illegal immigrants over taking action to ease the tax burden on law-abiding hardworking middle-class families,” said Peterson (R-Hunterdon). “The taxpayers in our state, who are overburdened by the highest tax rates in the nation, should not have to foot the bill for individuals who have knowingly broken U.S. laws.”
Illegal Immigrants in New Jersey are also eligible for state-funded financial aid programs due to a bill (S699) passed by Democrats in 2018. According to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, 749 illegal students were awarded millions in state financial aid to attend New Jersey colleges during the 2018-2019 academic year.
“I think we should prioritize legislation that helps struggling law-abiding middle class families, who can’t afford to send their children to college, first,” said Peterson.
New Jersey has the fourth-most-expensive in-state college tuition, and student debt more than doubled in the past decade – now standing at more than $43 billion. Since 2005, the cost of a four-year state degree increased by over $8,000 and a private degree by nearly $16,000.
“In addition to the cost at the expense of legal taxpayers, by issuing documentation to illegal immigrants the Democrats are legitimizing and encouraging the presence of individuals who have knowingly and willfully broken the laws of the United States,” said Peterson. “Giving access to driver’s licenses to people in the country illegally poses serious security risks and undermines U.S. immigration laws and sends a message that violating the law does not have consequences.”
Under the bill, the Motor Vehicle Commission will be responsible for ensuring that illegal immigrants are not registered to vote under existing New Jersey law.
“Citizens in the state are rightly skeptical that an agency known for its inability to properly process paperwork is going to be responsible for ensuring illegal immigrants are not registering to vote,” said Peterson. “Without increasing the safeguards to protect our state’s elections from abuse, we should not be considering issuing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses.”
Watch Assemblyman Erik Peterson in today’s Judiciary Committee:
WATCH: Peterson takes issue with cheaper driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants