Click play for audio version of this story
Republicans in the eighth district want Democrats to put drivers licenses for illegal immigrants back on the shelf.
“When it comes to securing a valid New Jersey driver’s license, we require residents to provide 6-points of identification to qualify,” Assemblywoman-elect Jean Stanfield said. “Given that, how can we turn around and allow someone who isn’t even in this country legally — and may not have any reliable form of identification — to get a license?”
Democrats held of on moving the measure, which is backed by Gov. Phil Murphy and some leaders in the legislature, until after the year’s elections over concerns about the bill hurting vulnerable Democrats.
Now that the legislature is in its lame duck session, there are no such concerns, and the Democrats in the statehouse are preparing to push it to Murphy’s desk in the next month and a half.
“This is another case of Governor Murphy’s warped view of ‘fairness’ potentially creating a public safety issue that makes our communities less safe,” Stanfield said. “It’s terrible public policy. Serving as a check on reckless ideas like this coming from Trenton Democrats is one of the reasons I ran and, frankly, one of the reasons Ryan and I won despite being massively outspent.”
Stanfield was Burlington County Sheriff for more than a decade.
Her runningmate, Assemblyman Ryan Peters, wants legislative leaders to hold off on moving the bill until the new class of legislators is sworn into office, though Democrats will still hold a majority in both chambers then.
“Governor Murphy said giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants was a ‘no-brainer’ earlier this year,” said Peters. “If that’s true, then why did Democrat legislative leaders try to bury this during the election and now want to sneak it through when fewer people are paying attention? If this is such a ‘no-brainer’ then let’s have this debate in an open, transparent and public way when the new legislature is seated.