Cuomo OKs driver's licenses for illegal immigrants

New York

New York "Green Light Bill": Lawmakers approve proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's license

NY will become the 13th state to authorize driver's licenses for immigrants who entered the US illegally.

Democrats regained control of the state Senate for the first time since 2008 in last year's midterm elections and the new all-Democratic government has moved to pass a flurry of progressive bills such as expanding abortion rights and granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

"If you give those people who come through the process illegally the rights, the freedoms and the privileges of becoming a citizen. those people waiting in line to become a citizen, when they see that happening, they're going to say to themselves, why should I go through that process?" Sen.

The New York Times reported Governor Cuomo and state Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs warned a couple of Democrats, who represent suburban districts, that voting for the legislation could be "politically perilous", thus endangering the party's new Democrat majorities in the upper chamber of the legislature.

The measure on Monday passed the state Senate by a 33-29 count, often eliciting emotional remarks from both sides of the aisle during the floor vote. It now goes to the governor for his signature.

The governor said he will ask state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood to review the bill and will only sign it if she says it won't give federal authorities access to the DMV database.

The attorney general's office in NY issued the same sentiment.

Cuomo has supported this policy for more than a decade, according to a statement from his office.

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'The legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver's licenses, ' James wrote in a statement.

'The key to this bill is not the political intent but the legal effect.

'If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it....' We hope the attorney general's assessment is correct'.

Twelve other states have similar provisions, Rivera said. "California passed a law, and they are now in litigation".

Republican lawmakers decried the bill, which they said would reward people who had violated federal immigration laws and possibly lead to voter fraud if immigrants use the licenses to try to register to vote.

Democrats supporting the measure argue that illegal aliens learn to drive, and get tested and insured as a result, adding to overall road safety for all.

A girl from Central America rests on thermal blankets at a detention facility run by the U.S. Border Patrol on September 8, 2014 in McAllen, Texas.

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