Cumberland County Freeholders Urge NJ Legislators to Expand Access to Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Residents

On a historic bipartisan vote, Cumberland County Freeholders endorsed legislation that would grant driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in NJ

For Immediate Release

August 26, 2015

Contact: Carlos Rojas, Organizer for Faith in New Jersey, 732-372-1487

Bridgeton, NJ – The Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to approve a resolution in support of legislation that would expand driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in New Jersey.  Following meetings with local elected officials, law enforcement groups, business owners, clergy and immigrant families, the Cumberland County Freeholders decided to pass a resolution in support of A4425 and S2925 introduced earlier this year.

"I feel this resolution in support of state legislation, when and if the legislature passes it, will be good for everybody.  All the public will benefit for various reasons.  Drivers will be insured and better trained and the state's economy will benefit by New Jersey processing its residents’ driver’s license applications." said Freeholder Sheppard (R) who introduced the resolution.

"As a pastor I would like to thank the Cumberland County Freeholder in joining the Bridgeton Mayor and City Council and many other municipalities in supporting this important issue.  My hope and prayer is that the ground swell of local support will help move our leaders in Trenton to pass this important legislation.  It is a safety and economic issue that will improve the quality of life for thousands in New Jersey," said Father Vince Guest, Head Pastor of the Parish of the Holy Cross Parish in Bridgeton who testified last week at the Freeholder's Meeting.

"According to estimates, there are potentially 450,000 undocumented immigrants in New Jersey.  I support the bills (A4425 & S2925) because it would improve safety by reducing the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers on our roads, help lower insurance rates, and generate new revenue for the state and local businesses," said Vineland Mayor Ruben Bermudez, who also sent a letter to the state legislature and the governor asking them to support state legislation on driver’s licenses for undocumented residents.

"I want to thank the Cumberland Freeholders for supporting our efforts.  As a mother, I rely on driving to take my kids to school, attend church and for hospital and doctor's visits.  My husband and I also depend on driver’s licenses in order to provide for our family," said Gudelia Modragon, Bridgeton resident and member of Faith in New Jersey.  Gudelia also shared her testimony as an undocumented mother to the Cumberland Freeholder Board last week.

A report from New Jersey Policy Perspective released last year highlights the benefits of proposed legislation that would grant access to driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.  "Allowing all residents the opportunity to drive legally would make New Jersey safer, help its economy and increase the well-being of many families. The Garden State should follow the lead of 11 states and Washington D.C., and ensure that all drivers, regardless of their immigration status, are tested, trained, licensed, insured and accountable for their driving records."