Many New Yorkers had reason to celebrate on December 16 because they were allowed to apply for a driver’s license for the first time, even if they had no permanent immigration status. Now, Thanks to a new law passed on December 19, Your neighbors in New Jersey will also benefit from it. By law, New Jersey is the 15th state in which undocumented immigrants can apply for a driver’s license.
Estimates assume that as many as 880,000 New Yorkers and 450,000 New Jerseyers Drivers could benefit from these new laws. When similar laws were passed in California and Connecticut, studies showed that the Hit rate decreased, like that Rate of unlicensed drivers,
New Jersey law is a great year for lawyers struggling to expand the right to a driver’s license for immigrants across the country. Together with New Jersey, New York and Oregon passed laws in 2019 that extend the right to apply for a license to more people.
People who benefit from these laws, like everyone else, must continue to apply for a driver’s license and pass a driving test. The only difference between a US citizen applying for a license and an undocumented immigrant is what papers are required to prove identity.
When the laws of New Jersey and Oregon come into force in 2021, more than a third of the U.S. population will live in a state where everyone can apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status. They join California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Utah, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Although many similar laws have been in force for many years, they are not without controversy. Several district clerks in New York state initially refused to issue driving licenses for undocumented immigrants and sued the state.
The complaint of the employees was rejected by a federal judge shortly after it was filed on the judge’s grounds that the employees had no right to sue New York State to repeal a law that they had to enforce.
A separate provision in the New York and New Jersey laws restricting the information that the state can provide to the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) has led to contradictions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The measures to restrict the exchange of information took place after revelations that ICE was using data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles as part of its efforts to enforce immigration regulations.
Chad Wolf, acting DHS Secretary on Tuesday ordered the agency to review the impact of the information exchange rules on the Agency’s ability to enforce immigration rules. While this review still has to be done, it happens like the Trump administration has exacerbated the media war on so-called “sanctuary” policy.
As in California, it remains to be seen whether the restrictions on information exchange in New York and New Jersey will make a significant difference. The rise of Big data companyautomatically License plate reader, and social media ICE has made it easier than ever to find people.
Despite these privacy concerns, those who benefited from the law were still pleased to apply for a license. In New York City, Lines at DMV were spanned block by block and people expressed joy the opportunity to legally drive after years of public transportation, or to be forced to take trips from friends and family.
As the advocates quickly emphasize, everyone benefits if undocumented immigrants can apply for a driver’s license by legally permitting the driving of motor vehicles and taking out liability insurance. The state also benefits from more licenses and registration fees. The success of these laws will hopefully lead to more states moving in the same direction.
Filed under: Driver’s License, New Jersey, New York
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