WEST DEPTFORD – In the latest activist push for proposed legislation creating a new class of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in New Jersey, faith leaders from across South Jersey met Monday morning in front of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) office to pray for what organizers called a matter of allowing immigrants to “live with dignity.”
Sister Kathleen Brown from Divine Mercy Parish in Vineland, NJ lead the group in the Spanish-language “Hail Mary” prayer as demonstrators passed a rosary from person to person.
“As people of faith we are praying for the Senate Leadership to understand that this legislation resonates with our faith values of justice, equality and human dignity for all regardless of immigration status,” said Brown. ” We are hopeful that the New Jersey Senate will make this bill a priority and will vote on it before the end of this legislative session.”
Sweeney was not at his office during the prayer meeting. The event was organized by the advocacy group Faith in New Jersey.
The Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee approved bills S2925 and A4425 in the Assembly last month. In the wake of the subsequent Paris attacks, the bills may face a tougher road ahead if lawmakers and the public both embrace a harder line on national security measures. The new licenses would only be valid within the state lines, and would not be recognized as federal ID for boarding planes.