TRENTON, NJ--A new law signed by NJ Gov. Phil Murphy will allow drivers licenses to be issued to illegal immigrants. According to a New Jersey101.5 report, supporters of the measure claim roads will be safer as a result. However, opponents argue the state is just rewarding the lawbreakers.
The legislation creates two classes of license. One is compliant with federal REAL ID standards, and will be the only sort of license that can be used to fly on a plane or enter a federal facility starting in October of 2020. Applicants for those licenses will have to prove they have a legal right to live in the U.S. and New Jersey.
The other is a standard license -- similar to the ones most NJ residents have now -- and will be available to all Garden State residents, regardless of immigration status.
Sue Fulton, the Motor Vehicle Commission's chief administrator, told the state Senate Transportation Committee on Dec. 12 many immigrants are already driving without a license because they can’t get one.
"In my view, our roads are safer when our drivers are trained, tested, licensed and insured," she said.
An AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found over a two-year period, nearly 20% of fatal crashes involved unlicensed or invalidly licensed drivers.
Fulton also argued an unlicensed driver is more likely to flee the scene of a crash, complicating police efforts.