Governor Murphy Signs Driver’s License Bill into Law
Culmination of a 15-Year Struggle
|LAN President Emeritus Frank Argote-Freyre receiving pen from Governor Phil Murphy during Bill Signing Ceremony.|
Governor Phil Murphy today signed the law permitting undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, the culmination of a 15-year advocacy campaign by the Latino activist organizations across New Jersey.
“Since the founding of the Latino Action Network in 2009, this has been our number one legislative priority,” said Christian Estevez, President of LAN. “Governor Murphy’s signing of this bill is a landmark moment for our community and the entire state of New Jersey. It makes our state a more humane and safer place to live. The coming together of a wide range of constituencies made this possible. It challenges the tone of intolerance set by President Trump at the national level.”
Estevez noted that the list of allies both in government and on the activist side that helped make it possible is long. In addition to Governor Murphy, key allies were Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, and State Senators Teresa Ruiz, Nellie Pou, Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Ron Rice and Nia Gill. Key allies in the African American community included NAACP NJ State Conference President Richard Smith, Charles Boyer, leader of Salvation and Social Justice and Eric Dobson of the Fair Share Housing Center.
Frank Argote-Freyre, President Emeritus of LAN and a professor of Latin American history at Kean University made the following statement: “This is a historic moment for the Latino community of New Jersey. It is a moment when the organizing power of the community reached a new level. I am confident it will be seen as a turning point in the struggle for self-empowerment by generations to come. We are fortunate at this time to have a Governor willing to show courage in the face of unrelenting attacks on the immigrant community by a shameless President. His support for our community will be long remembered.”
The Latino Action Network is a broad, statewide coalition of Latino organizations dedicated to political empowerment, the promotion of civil rights, and the elimination of disparities in the areas of education, health, and employment. It was founded in 2009.