TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A vigil is taking place Sunday evening and is expected to last overnight in Trenton to support a bill that will allow undocumented immigrants and people who have served prison time to obtain driver's licenses.
The vigil held by New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice began Sunday at 6 p.m. The Democratic-controlled Assembly is expected to vote Monday and Governor Phil Murphy has said he will sign it.
Supporters said Sunday night, "Otherwise qualified drivers face barriers to obtaining a license in New Jersey: vulnerable populations like undocumented immigrants, survivors of violence, formerly incarcerated individuals and veterans are impacted in particular. Fourteen states and Washington, D.C. have expanded access to driver's licenses, regardless of immigration status. In New Jersey, approximately 719,000 potential drivers could benefit, bringing in $90 million in economic gain to the state."
The State GOP strongly opposes the bill and three Republican state lawmakers, State Sen. Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove, all Republicans representing Ocean, Burlington, and Atlantic, counties, began a petition against it that has garnered 21,000 signatures.
In the petition they write, "In his effort to turn New Jersey into a sanctuary state, the governor has spent more than $2 million of taxpayer money to cover the legal costs of illegal aliens facing deportation."
New Jersey set to vote on bill to allow undocumented immigrants obtain driver's licenses