Last night, the Democrat-led Senate passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the so-called “Green Light Bill” to allow illegal immigrants to obtain New York State driver’s licenses. This legislation is an outrage to law-abiding New Yorkers, as well as to new Americans that have taken the appropriate steps to become citizens legally.
The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers oppose issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. And yet, that is exactly what Senate Democrats did.
I adamantly opposed this legislation and voted against it.
Just like their new law giving free taxpayer-funded college tuition assistance to illegal immigrants, providing driver’s licenses to those here illegally creates a strong disincentive for anyone to respect our nation’s immigration laws. The college tuition provision also left hardworking New Yorkers like you paying the bill.
Democrats have chosen to reward those who break the law by giving “undocumented” immigrants a key document: Now illegal immigrants can apply for standard driver’s licenses using foreign identification, making it nearly impossible for county clerks and employees at local Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) to verify authenticity.
Another major concern is that many states, including New York, use their DMVs to enroll voters. Since New York does NOT have voter identification laws like the majority of other states do, this bill increases the potential for voter fraud.
The vast majority of other states throughout the nation do NOT issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and those that do demand substantially tighter proof of identification. Some also impose requirements designed to encourage immigrants to pursue full, legal citizenship.
In contrast, the “Green Light” proposal includes no such restrictions or requirements. This means that New York will soon have the most radical, open-ended law in the entire nation.
Going forward, I will continue the important battle to restore common sense to our state government, and fight against flawed measures like this one that actually give people an incentive to break the law.
John Flanagan is the Republican leader in the New York State Senate