Advocates petition speaker to post driver’s license expansion bill

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Advocates from the ‘Let’s Drive Campaign’ delivered 12 boxes filled with petitions containing more than 15,000 signatures to the Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin’s office in Woodbridge. They’re arguing that a bill to expand driver’s licenses would increase safety on the highways and increase opportunity for families that can’t always provide documents they need.

Supporters urged Coughlin to post bill A4743, which has been introduced in both the Assembly and the Senate, but hasn’t been moved for a vote.

The rally comes ahead of New Jersey getting to roll out the federal Real ID Act next year. Under the new law, in order to obtain a Real ID residents will need to prove identity with a new 6-point ID system in order to board a domestic flight or enter a federal building.

Advocates say the Read ID act could negatively impact communities that can’t always provide those documents, including undocumented immigrants, the homeless and immigrants with insecure status such as DACA recipients.

“I’ve had to change shifts, so I can accommodate for my family because they need me during the weekends. It’s either that or they would have to walk a few blocks to run their errands or they would have to spend a lot of money on taxi,” said DACA recipient Desiree Armas.

If passed, New Jersey would become the 13th state to expand access to driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants.