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The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities urged New Jersey to adopt a law allowing driver’s licenses for immigrants, including ones in the country illegally, and to expand health care to all children in the state in order to better integrate the state’s immigrants.
“At a time when federal immigration policies are causing widespread harm, it is both sound policy and beneficial to states to pursue supportive policies that assuage fears and provide opportunity for all of their residents — regardless of their national origin, their religion, the color of their skin, or the language they speak,” CBPP Senior Policy Analyst Eric Figueroa said.
The report argues that giving driver’s licenses to immigrants in the country illegally would make the roads safer and free up police resources while enabling immigrants to contribute more to the state’s economy.
A law allowing such licensing was introduced last December but has yet to be heard in committee.
The report also encourages in-state tuition aid for undocumented college students and wage theft protections.
New Jersey has already enacted laws on both measures.
“The United States is a nation of immigrants and our public policy should reflect that reality,” Assemblyman Gary Schaer said.” States like New Jersey must take proactive steps to treat all people fairly and give immigrants opportunities to thrive. When immigrants are integrated, their local communities and the broader economy prospers. For this reason, I sponsored legislation to give DREAMers equal access to state financial aid for higher education. This investment will boost the skills and wages of all of New Jersey’s workforce.”