TRENTON — A petition against allowing immigrants in the country illegally to get driver licenses in New Jersey has collected more than 16,000 signatures in just five days.

The online campaign was co-lead by Ocean County lawmakers, said state Sen. Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove.

 

The online campaign also has collected over a thousand comments, many of them passionate in opinion.

Linda Salmons wrote: "Immigrants are an important part of our American heritage and contribute to our society. However, they must follow immigration laws. Illegal entry (or the euphemistic “undocumented”) is not acceptable. They have fundamentally broken the law and as such are criminals and should be treated as such. And yes, I am a descendant of immigrants who were grateful for the opportunities this country gave them. They followed the law and came here legally."

Dawn Potter: "If legal residents of NJ have to provide 6 points of identification to get a drivers license, than I don't understand how the 'undocumented' will be able to provide the same."

Bernadette Jusinski: "It is to the benefit of all New Jerseyans for the State to ensure that all drivers are knowlegeable about driving regulations (by passing a written test), and proficient on the road (by passing a behind-the-wheel road test). Every driver, including undocumented immigrants, should be required to have a license. The State can differentiate the license in much the same way that a 17-year old's license is adjusted for quick identification. It's better for the State to know who is here, and that they're qualified to drive."

James Flanagan: "If a person is driving on our roads, they should have a license. To get a license you need to show valid identification. If a person is here, has valid identification and wants to contribute to our society, let's give them permanent residence and let them be open and contributing members of our society. This middle ground doesn't make much sense."

Raymond W Barton: "I want immigrants to come to this country and enjoy all the rights and priviliages of all US Citizens. By allowing for the by pass of requirements just because you are an illegal alien takes away a level of society that is not appropriate and distructive. If someone comes, has filed the proper paper work and needs transportation for work to be a productive member of society, then we might consider a provisional license for the period of time that it takes them to become legal. But just giving an OK to a license because they came here without papers is a slap in the face to all those who follow the rules."

Vincent Mannuzza: "Suggesting an Illegal Alien be called an Undocumented Immigrant and given the same rights and benefits of those who took the correct path to citizenship is the same as calling a drug dealer a unlicensed pharmacist...Both have violated statutes that are established to protect the well being of the general population and must be dealt with accordingly."

Gov. Phil Murphy has supported efforts to offer immigrants here illegally an opportunity to get a legal driver’s license, stating such a move would make New Jersey roads safer.

New Jersey has been granted an extension to finalize its Real ID driver license program until Oct. 10, 2019.