CAMDEN Eleven states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses. An immigrant rights group wants to make New Jersey the 12th.
Camden Churches Organized for People is holding a rally next Monday at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral to call on legislators to push through a bill that would provide "driving privilege cards" to undocumented residents.
Event organizer Noemi Medina said the event also aims to shed light on the racial profiling that undocumented drivers can face. The bill would make officials who discriminate against cardholders liable to up to three to five years in prison and fines as high as $15,000.
"We are really trying to rally people, to get those with stories together. We want this passed," Medina said.
Under current state law, immigrants must have at least temporary visa status to get a license.
The bill, introduced in January, would allow the state to issue driving privilege cards to residents who can show they live in the state but cannot prove their legal status.
New York has been trying to pass similar legislation and California recently opened facilities to sign undocumented persons up after passing the legislation last year.
Supporters such as Medina say it would make roadways safer and allow state residents the ability to drive to work, or their children to school, without fear of being detained or deported.
Critics have said the measure rewards people who came into the country illegally. - Julia Terruso