SOUTHERN OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – The pending bills won’t just impact Southern Ocean County.  Senate Bill 3229 and its companion bill in the Assembly, A-4743, could change the law statewide. Both seek to allow residents unable to prove lawful presence in the United States with certain privileges. This includes qualifying for permits, as well as standard driver’s licenses or identification cards. The proposed law also permits the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to increase certain fees.

If the bills are signed into law, New Jersey will join 14 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing illegal immigrants to obtain documentation from the MVC.  Proponents of the proposed legislation argue that the process helps with safety measures. The new law would also increase state revenue.

Meanwhile, representatives of the 9th District delegation strongly disagree. Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove identify themselves as “vehement opponents of sanctuary state policies.”

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 Governor Murphy and other members of his administration dispute the characterization of New Jersey as a sanctuary state.  Part of the issue stems from the implementation of the Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits how state and local officials cooperate with federal immigration authorities.  

Connors, Rumpf, and Gove maintain an online petition opposing what they say are Gov. Murphy’s sanctuary state policies, including driver’s licenses for illegals. The petition has been signed more than 21,000 times.

Additionally, The 9th District delegation recently sent the following letter to the chairpersons of the committees that S-3229 and A-4743 were referenced to upon introduction:

Dear Senator Diegnan and Assemblywoman Quijano:

“In your respective capacities as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and Chairwoman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, we are calling on you to refrain from passing companion bills S-3229 and A-4743 which, among other provisions, would allow persons in the country illegally to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license.

“Justifiably, this legislation has drawn intense opposition from our constituency and residents across the state as evidenced by the more than 21,000 people who have signed the online petition (https://www.senatenj.com/sanctuarystate/) established by our delegation opposed to permitting illegal aliens to receive New Jersey driver’s licenses as well as any other sanctuary state policy.  In general, people are alarmed and angered that this legislation would undermine the rule of law, create serious security issues and would be patently unfair to those motorists, especially seniors, who are mandated to meet the requirements of 6-Point ID verification by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), thus creating a double standard.

“To provide a greater voice to all those who signed the petition, we request this correspondence and petition be entered into the official public record in vehement opposition to S-3229 and A-4743 which constitute a detrimental and highly divisive policy action toward establishing New Jersey as a sanctuary state.  Thank you in advance, for your review and consideration of this correspondence.”

The Assembly Judiciary Committee passed A-4743 on December 9th. Today, the Senate votes on S-3229.