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Editorial: Granting Licenses to Illegal Aliens Will Encourage Others to Break the Law

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The following editorial by Senator Christopher Connors (R-9) in opposition to Governor Murphy’s efforts to provide driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state was published by the Asbury Park Press on January 30, 2019:

America is a nation of laws, which include clear pathways for lawful immigration. We shouldn’t provide the various benefits of citizenship and legal residency, including a driver’s license, to those who have broken our laws with their very first, illegal step into this country.

Editorial from Sen. Christopher Connors on the 9th District delegation’s opposition to Governor Murphy’s efforts to provide driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state. (

Doing so would undermine our society by encouraging others to break the law as well. It also would send the wrong message to legal residents and citizens who play by the rules and fulfill their obligations every day, including paying taxes.

That’s why I started an online petition with Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, my partners in the 9th Legislative District, to oppose legislation (S-3229/A-4743) that would allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses in New Jersey.

After news of the legislation to implement Gov. Murphy’s plan was first publicized several weeks ago, our office was contacted by a flood of people who found the proposal to be beyond the pale, even for Trenton.

Based on the feedback our legislative office has received, we’re confident that the governor’s goal of turning New Jersey into a sanctuary state — and failing to support enforcement of our federal immigration laws — is something that most New Jerseyans do not support.

A large segment of our constituency believes, as do we, that providing the privilege of a driver’s license to those in the country illegally would all but solidify New Jersey’s status as a sanctuary state.

We’re concerned that Murphy and the Democratic majorities in the Legislature will try to enact this proposal quickly to limit the opportunity for dissent. We don’t believe that’s how our legislative process should work.

Our petition is designed to give the residents of our district, and everyone in New Jersey, the opportunity to have their voices heard on this matter.

In just two weeks, nearly 20,000 people have registered their concerns by signing. How many more must join this movement before the power brokers in Trenton will take notice?

To be sure, driver’s licenses are a small part of a much broader immigration agenda that’s being pushed by Murphy that has people concerned.

They don’t understand how the governor could sign a state budget that pays $2.1 million for the legal fees of illegal aliens facing deportation, while simultaneously cutting aid to many of our local schools, which will drive property taxes higher in our communities.

They’re concerned by the law he signed extending eligibility for state college tuition assistance to undocumented residents, especially when the pool of money in our financial aid program is already limited.

Let’s not forget that New Jersey already offers in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens living in New Jersey. Consider that a veteran residing just across the river in Pennsylvania must pay full price to attend one of our state schools.

In their totality, these policies represent an outrageous demonstration of misplaced priorities that will only serve to draw more illegal aliens to New Jersey. Quite simply, Murphy is ringing the dinner bell, and he plans on leaving legal, taxpaying residents with the check.

New Jersey already can’t afford to fully fund schools, pensions, or roads, and the threat of more tax increases looms every year. How can we justify the significant new expenditures associated with implementing the Governor’s expensive progressive agenda?

In light of these concerns, the people of New Jersey are right to be angry that they are being ignored, yet again, by politicians in Trenton.

Seniors and countless others across the state haven’t forgotten the hell they went through trying to get their licenses renewed after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission instituted the 6-Point ID system several years ago. Many were forced to jump through hoops in an effort to comply with the law.

We know the extreme challenges they faced. Our office helped hundreds of constituents who were rejected due to minor spelling errors on their documents or questions about the validity of decades-old birth certificates. Many of our seniors risked the loss of their ability to live independently as a result.

That leaves us with several questions:

  • Will the NJMVC be as strict when issuing driver’s licenses to illegals, or will they be given another pass from complying with our laws?
  • What additional resources will be required to process an influx of driver’s license applications, and at what cost to taxpayers?
  • Will state policy require MVC staff to have a driver’s license in one hand and a voter registration application in the other?

There are too many concerns being brushed under the rug, and too many questions left unanswered. We must say ‘no’ to Murphy’s effort to give New Jersey driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

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