The above photo was taken at the Motor Vehicle office on Fort Greene Place in Brooklyn a few days after the new Green Light Law went into effect allowing all New Yorkers (over the age of 16) to apply for a standard, non-federal license or learner’s permit regardless of their citizenship or legal status. A large green sign in the lobby reads:
“Obtain a driver’s license now.” “Keep our families together and our communities safe.”
I reside in an assisted living building overlooking the motor vehicle bureau in Garden City, New York. Overflow crowds gather early in the morning, young and old (bundled up in cold and rainy weather) seeking a driver’s license, that once approved, affords look-alike resident status.
A Christmas gift from our state legislators and our munificent governor. Transactional legitimacy has been attained with one exception. Their new license, as printed on the front in very small font size, cannot be “used for federal purposes.”
Should we be concerned? My answer is yes. According to a Newsday in a report issued on July 18, 2018, based on four Census surveys, “there are about 296,000 immigrants in Nassau and about 231,000 immigrants in Suffolk.” On the state level, 11 million are classified as “out of status, or living in the state illegally.
Obviously our representatives in Albany did not do their homework in dealing with the downstream dynamics of this intrusion. A foothold to support an underground economy has been established with little awareness of who these individuals are and their impact (licensed or not) on our schools, hospitals and other public services all provided at tax-payer expense.
Effective, fair and productive immigration policies are badly needed. Is anyone in Washington, or for that Albany, up to that task? Probably not on my watch.