Conservatives: Put the Brakes on Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Immigrants

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Liverpool, NY — The New York State Conservative Party has been at the forefront of putting the brakes on illegal immigrants being issued New York State driver’s licenses. We have been opposed since disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer first introduced this ill-conceived idea 12 years ago; we stopped it then and are in the process of stopping it again. The response to our online petition has been steady and reflects the polling that indicates over 60% of New Yorkers are opposed to this pending legislation. We know we are making an impact now when the Times Union reports that the legislators are “tweaking” the bill. State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar said, “They can ‘tweak’ it, however, but our position remains: No New York State driver’s licenses for people who are illegal immigrants.”

State Senator Robert E. Antonacci, stated that, “The issue is very simple, the rule of law matters. If someone is in our country illegally, they are breaking the law. They should not be rewarded with driver’s licenses, free college tuition, and free healthcare, especially on the backs of hard-working taxpayers. Do we need immigration reform? Absolutely. Does the crisis at the southern border need to be addressed? No question. Should Democrats and Republicans in Washington do a better job of protecting our homeland? No doubt. However, I believe the policies being carried forward by the liberal New York City machine are not in the best interest of all New Yorkers, especially the constituents of my district.”

Madison County Clerk, Mike Keville, had this to say, “This pending bill would require motor vehicle clerks to accept any birth records submitted without question. The opportunity for ANYONE to commit fraud in the environment being created by this legislature is inconceivable in the 21st century.  On the bright side, my children will easily be able to obtain a valid driver’s license in NYS when they turn 14, all I’ll have to do is write them a little “birth certificate” from any county in the world.

Cayuga County Clerk, Sue Dwyer noted that “…every single day, due to strict NYS DMV laws, my staff is required to turn away US citizens, who don’t have enough documentation to complete their transactions, yet, (if this becomes law) illegal individuals cannot be turned away for lack of documentation. This is the true definition of lunacy and hypocrisy!”

Wayne County Clerk, Michael Jankowski, pointed out that “the establishment of identity would be placed solely on the county department of motor vehicles. Unlike passports, after the license is approved and issued, records are required to be expunged.”

Cortland County Clerk, Elizabeth Larkin, reminded us that, “The proposed legislation would allow illegal immigrants to provide foreign identifying documents to obtain a NYS driver’s license and a government identification document without the need of translation or verification. Without the ability to translate, there will be no way to know whether the applicant matches the documents or whether these documents have been used previously to obtain a driver’s license. It may even be difficult to discern the age of the applicant.”

Oswego County Clerk, Michael Backus: “As Oswego County Clerk, I manage three locally funded Department of Motor Vehicle locations. Those offices, staffed by Oswego County employees, generated over $15,200,000 in revenue in 2018, over 85% of which New York State gets to keep.   DMV customers are already frustrated by the state’s decision to delay the implementation of federal REAL-ID laws adding significant wait time to our already very busy offices. Now, state legislation is being considered that would circumvent federal immigration law. DMV customers are already frustrated and adding controversial immigration issues to that workload is not helping cut taxes, shorten lines, or speed up transactions.”

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