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Sponsor Pulls N.J. Legislation On Illegal Immigrant Driver’s Licenses

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NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork/AP) — The sponsor of a bill in the New Jersey Assembly that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses has pulled the legislation for now, saying it needs more work.

Assemblyman Reed Gusciora pulled the proposal from Thursday’s Assembly’s Transportation Committee agenda.

Gusciora wants anyone who is eligible for deferred deportation status and a work permit to be able to acquire a driver’s license from the state.

Eligible applicants are up to 30 years old and have been in the United States at least five years. They can’t have a criminal record and must have graduated from a U.S. high school or be a veteran.

Sponsor Pulls N.J. Legislation On Illegal Immigrant Driver's Licenses

WCBS 880's Levon Putney reports

For those in favor of the bill, “the primary reason is safety,” American Friends Service Committee Program Director Amy Gottlieb told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Gottlieb said undocumented immigrants are already driving to get to work, so better to teach them the rules of the road.

She added the legislation would enable illegal immigrants to “register their car and can get car insurance and all the things that are in place that make us all safer.”

Gayle Kesselman, however, thinks the bill is “nonsense.”

Kesselman, with the New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control, said the bill further helps immigrants thumb their noses at the rule of the law while taking American jobs.

“I mean they obviously know how to drive. There’s no guarantee that if they get a driver’s license they’re going to go out and buy insurance,” she said. “The whole thing is ridiculous.”

Gusciora said the measure’s language needs more work before a hearing this summer.

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