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May 30, 2019

There is an ongoing campaign in New Jersey — and a parallel legislative effort — to allow undocumented immigrants in the state to drive legally. Central to the argument is that, as well as making life easier for undocumented immigrants, it would make the roads safer for everybody.

An economic case for allowing undocumented immigrants to get licenses has also been put forward and New Jersey Policy Perspective, a left leaning think tank, underlines that case in a new report. Written by policy analyst Erika J. Nava, the report suggests that, if implemented, extending driver’s licenses to the undocumented would generate $21 million in the first three years in revenue from permit, title, and license fees. According to the report, “Once fully implemented, new drivers will generate $90 million annually from registration fees, the gas tax, and the sales tax on purchases made at gas stations and motor vehicle and auto parts retailers.”

New Jersey is home to almost half a million undocumented residents (484,000), accounting for 5.4 percent of the state’s total population. Of those, 91.5 percent are of driving age (16 and older).

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