NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Mayor James Cahill added his support to a chorus of urban area leaders in praising a proposed state law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
On Tuesday, state legislators introduced a bill permitting these immigrants to get licenses because many of them are already currently driving on New Jersey roads.
Cahill joined mayors from six other municipalities in hailing the measure.
“We all stand to benefit from this legislation," Cahill said in a statement that included comments from each of the mayors.
Cahill said the bill - that state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union) each have sponsored - will give nearly half a million potentially qualified New Jersey drivers access to licenses.
This would include "immigrants and others who cannot meet the requirements under the federal REAL ID Act but are still qualified to drive," Cahill said.
"Our local economy will benefit with so many new drivers and we are all safer when more drivers are tested, licensed and insured, the mayor said.
Others joining in support of the legislation are mayors of Elizabeth, Passaic, Paterson, Hoboken, Haledon, and Dover in Morris County.
Legislators say many undocumented immigrants drive cars daily to get to work and pickup children at schools, often driving unregistered and uninsured vehicles because they are unable to get a driver's license.
The local economy, Cahill said, "will benefit with so many new drivers, and we are all safer when more drivers are tested, licensed and insured.”
The legislation proposed two separate licenses, a Real ID license that New Jersey drivers, and drivers in other states, will need under the REAL ID Act of 2005, which was enacted after the 9/11 terror attacks, and a separate license and ID card for undocumented drivers.