New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enable illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, despite public polling indicating the decision is not a popular one among constituents.
The New York State Assembly voted 87 to 61 in favor of the legislation, which would be sent to Governor Cuomo’s desk if passed by the state senate.
Gov. Cuomo has reportedly expressed his intention to sign the bill.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo (D), the “Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act” would permit illegal aliens to present foreign identification documents in order to obtain a driver’s license, and provides exemptions for those who cannot provide a Social Security Number, which is currently mandatory.
The bill also seeks to place “restrictions on the release of records to agencies primarily enforcing immigration law.”
“This legislation addresses the long-held need by undocumented immigrants and workers to secure driving privileges not only to get back and forth to work but to conduct tasks in their personal lives like going to doctor visits and taking their children to school,” the bill’s ‘Justification’ segment explains.
“This legislation allows for the issuance of a driver’s license, protects the data of those applying for such privilege from unwarranted release and moves New York closer to recognizing the huge and positive economic impact undocumented residents have on the economy.”
A summary of the bill explains the following:
“Section three amends subdivision 1 of VTL § 502 to expand the types of proofs of identity that could be submitted with an application for a non-commercial driver’s license that does not meet federal standards for identification to include a valid, unexpired foreign passport issued by the applicant’s country of citizenship (which could also be submitted as proof of age), a valid unexpired consular identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant’s country of citizenship, and a valid foreign driver’s license that includes the applicant’s photo image and which is either unexpired, or is expired for less than 24 months from its date of expiration. Additionally, persons who lack a Social Security number (SSN) could instead submit a signed affidavit that they have not been issued an SSN.”
The New York Association of County Clerks has voiced its opposition to the legislation citing an “expected onslaught” of applicants who would be producing documents with which staffers would be unfamiliar or unable to verify.
“County level DMVs have not been required to verify foreign documents in the past as this is currently a federal function, most commonly done during the working visa process,” said association president Judith Hunter in a statement.
A Siena College poll found that 61% of New York voters opposed the bill, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
NY State Senator Thomas O’Mara (R) slammed the legislation, accusing Gov. Cuomo and fellow Democrats of turning the state into a “haven for lawbreakers.”
“It is a radical, irresponsible, and reckless agenda,” O’Mara said in a statement. “I warned before this new legislative session even started that this state would be turned upside down at breakneck speed. Following outrageous parole releases and other questionable actions in the name of ‘criminal justice,’ the next step is to reward lawbreaking illegal immigrants with a government-issued driver’s license.”
“It puts overall public safety and security at risk, imposes another unfunded mandates on counties, and asks local, law-abiding public servants to break the law.”
Radical leftists promote open borders policies in the name of social justice despite the danger of spreading disease.
Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst