TRENTON, N.J. – While most New Jerseyans are rushing to wind up work and shopping obligations before the end of the year, the Democrat-controlled Assembly Judiciary Committee approved legislation on Monday to create driver’s licenses for illegal aliens squatting in the Garden State.
The bill (A4743) – approved in a party line 4-2 vote – “creates two categories of basic driver’s licenses, motorcycle licenses, probationary licenses, and non-driver identification cards (hereinafter referred to collectively as licenses and identification cards)” according to the accompanying statement.
The GOP was nearly unanimous in its condemnation of the bill, lead by newly-minted State Senator Mike Testa (R-1).
“Democrats in the General Assembly are wasting their precious time and State resources to prioritize the needs of illegal immigrants, while legal residents are struggling every day to stay in the Garden State,” said Testa . “Will illegals have to jump through hoops to show their ‘6 points of ID’ at the MVC like the rest of us? Democrats need to get their priorities straight. We need to get to work on fixing real issues, like lowering our state’s sky-high property taxes to make New Jersey more affordable for hardworking families.”
Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) was one of the committee’s two nay votes.
“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 of Hunterdon County. “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.”
Another issue is whether the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) will successfully prevent illegals from registering to vote; a 2017 study found hundreds of illegals registered in New Jersey.
“One of my biggest issues with the bill is that just last year Governor Murphy signed into law an automatic voter registration law under which anyone and everyone who applies for a driver’s license in New Jersey automatically is registered to vote. You must pro actively exempt yourself or you are now eligible to vote in every election,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39) on Facebook. “All penalties for improperly registering to vote also were removed in that bill with a presumption that if you get “caught” you didn’t mean to do it (the specific language in A2014 signed into law in 2018 says “e. If a person who is not entitled to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this section, that person’s registration shall be presumed to have been effected with official authorization, and the person shall not be deemed to have committed a crime under 29 R.S.19:34-1). Therefore we are now automatically registering to vote potentially 1/2 million undocumented individuals who otherwise are prohibited from voting in our elections. No one has given me any assurance as to how the State intends to prevent this from occurring.”
“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,” added Peterson. “Without increasing the safeguards to protect our state’s elections from abuse, we should not be considering issuing illegal immigrants driver’s licenses.”
The bill is chock full of other jaw-dropping surprises. The newly licensed illegals are now part of a protected class under New Jersey law which means they can’t be discriminated against for things like housing or employment. Any information supplied by the illegal license holder is exempt from state government records laws. Most troubling for average motorists: insurance companies cannot impose higher rates on illegal drivers meaning everyone’s rates are likely to rise after the law is adopted.
Even the new fee structure is offensive. During the hearing, Assemblyman Peterson engaged Erika Nava of the far-left N.J. Policy Perspective organization over the fact that the new basic driver’s licenses available to illegals ($18) will be CHEAPER than the REAL ID license ($29) available to legal New Jersey residents who want to use their licenses to fly: