Recently, the State of New Jersey governor signed a bill into law allowing illegal immigrants in that state to get driver’s licenses. The reason for this law was to make sure that all individuals drive legally and obtain liability insurance to make it safer for everyone in that state.
This law does not allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to get any information on the illegal immigrants who will be getting driving licenses. Presently, 13 states and the District of Columbia allow these individuals to get driver’s licenses.
During 1996, former President Bill Clinton signed into law the Communication between Government Agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Act (Title 8 U.S. Code Section 1373).
This law allowed both the federal and state government to share information dealing with citizenship or the lawful or unlawful immigration status of any individual in each state obtaining drivers’ licenses.
Under Article VI, Section Two of the U.S. Constitution more commonly referred as the “supremacy of the federal government,” the Constitution, federal laws and treaties are the “supreme law of the land.” This means if there is a conflict between a federal and states laws, the federal law will prevail.
Do these states’ laws allowing these individuals to get driver’s licenses violate the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution?
Silvestre Moreno, Jr. Mercedes