Although GM was anxious to sell cars, no one (including Dinah) ever envisioned their use by individuals that don’t have to prove they are here legally. That all changed last Monday when Gov. Andrew Cuomos’ “Green Light Bill” became law granting undocumented and illegal immigrants’ access to a driver’s licenses. To stir these murky waters even further, the governor stipulated that any information provided by said applicants would not be made available to federal authorities that might challenge their status. The new legislation repeals a 2001 Executive Order issued by then Governor George Pataki that “prevented undocumented people from obtaining licenses.”
Supporters say the bill would lower the number of uninsured people and improve safety on the roads while boosting the economy. They also mentioned that the motor vehicle department “will have to follow the same requirements as other licensed drivers are required to do, including the need to have auto insurance.” Critics, however, say it circumvents federal law encouraging illegal immigration while allowing anyone who is here illegally to enter heretofore restricted facilities.
The old vs new is as follows: Proof of identity, such as valid license, a birth certificate or passport, proof of Social Security number (or a federally issued document that establishes legal presence) an eye examination, and a written and road test.
The new, undocumented immigrants can use an unexpired passport issued by the applicant’s country of residence, an unexpired identification document issued by a consulate from the applicant’s country of citizenship and a valid driver’s license that includes a photo of the applicant and is either unexpired or expired within two years. A social security card cannot be used since it is invalid. I’ll assume all tests are still required. The bill does not, its sponsors say, provide a pathway to citizenship. l
This new policy, in my opinion, should never have seen the light of day. We have overlooked two key words “undocumented illegal” immigrants which in the opinion of the New York Post ‘could allow hundreds of thousands of people to fraudulently register to vote in New York”. Why? New York does not have voter-identification laws like the majority of other states do; and, we all know a driver’s license is the mother’s milk of many verification processes we deal with every day. Undocumented immigrants cannot apply for an enhanced license.
In my opinion, what the governor has done and the legislature approved, is pandering to the 9th degree.