Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-23) this morning clashed with Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36) and
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33) on the subject of driver’s licenses for residents unlawfully living in New Jersey.
The Democrats back the bill, A-4743, which would make New Jersey the 14th state to adopt such a law.
“We’re opening this up to a million people,” the Hunterdon assemblyman griped. “It’s overwhelmingly protective of people here illegally.”
Mukherji and Scharer have worked for over three years on the bill with Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20).
“This bill was not sponsored to reward lawlessness,” said Mukherji. “That is already occurring. It is to ensure safety. This bill recognizes the inescapable reality that immigrants are already operating vehicles and it’s dangerous. They are doing so without learning our laws, without paying fees for licenses, and with uninsured vehicles.”
It won’t allow them to vote.
“But it will allow them to get to work, to school and the doctor,” the Hudson assemblyman said.
Schaer doubled down.
“This bill will represent a sea change in the lives of those impacted by it,” said the Passaic Assemblyman. “It’s fascinating that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled had the right to go to any pubic school in the town where they live. This bill represents an opportunity for those without the opportunity today.
“In my district this bill will have an incredible effect,” Schaer added. “This bill will effect those people in ways we can only imagine.”