Thursday, July 14, 2005

AFSC/Politics and Economics/Immigration

Motor vehicle offices resume processing immigrant licenses

New York Newsday/Long Island/NY/USA/13-Jul-05

People who had lived and driven legally in New Jersey for years found themselves turned away from their local motor vehicle offices, clutching maps to distant agency locations that had computer connections to federal immigration databases.

And at the regional service center in Wayne _ the only designated facility in northern New Jersey, where many of the state's immigrants live _ chaos ensued.

Lines stretched out the door and into the parking lot, which officials sometimes had to close to traffic. Overwhelmed staffers found themselves trying to interpret federal immigration law. Processing times stretched from one hour to six.

"It was terrible," recalled Amy Gottlieb, director of the Immigrants' Rights programs at the American Friends Service Committee. "People would get there very early in the morning and be there for full days."

So it was a relief, Gottlieb said, that the Motor Vehicle Commission Wednesday formally declared all 45 centers reopened to non-citizens. …..


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