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Hunterdon County Democratic Chairwoman Arlene Quinones Perez. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Latino leaders urge passage of drivers license bill

By Nikita Biryukov, April 03 2019 1:26 pm

More than 100 of the state’s Latino leaders urged Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders to pass a bill that would allow immigrants in the country illegally to obtain drivers licenses in a letter Wednesday.

“The REAL ID Act disproportionately impacts the Latino community. For a more prosperous NJ, we need this bill now to provide relief for a massive section of New Jersey’s economy that is responsible for millions of dollars in tax revenue,” Bergen County Freeholder Germaine Ortiz said. “Driving is a necessity in New Jersey for working families and individuals who need to get to work, school, medical centers, and more.”

Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney have backed the proposal, but the bill hasn’t moved since it was introduced in November.

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, whose caucus members are up for re-election this year, has not publicly commented on the bill, but he’s unlikely to put up any measure that could endanger his members’ re-election chances.

A number of the state’s most prominent Latino activists and politicos — including among others Hunterdon County Democratic Chairwoman Arlene Quinones Perez, state Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Carlos Medina and Union County Freeholder Sergio Granados — have signed on to the letter.

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