Democrat-led legislation, moving through the Senate and Assembly, would permit illegal immigrants to apply for standard driver’s licenses using forms of foreign identification, leaving county clerks and employees at local Departments of Motor Vehicles unable to truly verify authenticity.
The New York Association of County Clerks opposes the legislation since they cannot vet documents from other countries. This unfunded mandate would also leave counties to pick up the tab for hiring employees to deal with an influx of applicants as well.
“Privileges, including driver’s licenses, should not be extended to individuals who are in our country illegally. This legislation is far too broad and is an affront to law-abiding citizens. It not only jeopardies public safety, it forces yet another unfunded mandate on local governments,” said Senator Patrick Gallivan (R,C,I-Elma).
Over two-thirds of states do not allow illegal immigrants to drive at all, and for good reason. Many states use their DMVs to enroll voters, and New York does as well—creating new concerns over voter fraud. New York does not have any voter identification laws, unlike 35 other states. The handful of states that permit illegal immigrants to obtain licenses require substantially tighter proof of identification and may impose limitations on driving to incentivize naturalization.
While advocates claim that states freely grant licenses to illegal immigrants, that claim is patently false. For example, Utah only allows illegal immigrants to obtain licenses for a period of one-year; the District of Columbia offers limited purpose licenses; Connecticut requires that an illegal applicant file for citizenship; and many remaining states require a tax identification number, tax returns or proof that an illegal immigrant has become the dependent of a state taxpayer.
None of those states solely rely on foreign documents for identification purposes.
The New York Green Light bill does none of those things and creates a disincentive to naturalization when coupled with other initiatives passed by Democrats this year, like free college tuition for illegal immigrants.
It also does nothing, as advocates claim, to ensure that an illegal motorist remains at the scene of a serious accident if it could involve a potential felony charge which could mean deportation and that individual could still choose to flee.