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Illegal immigrants in the state of New York will soon be able to obtain driver’s licenses, under a new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Monday night.

The bill passed 33-29 in the Senate before making its way to the governor’s desk, ending months of debate on what The New York Times called “a deeply polarizing issue that had splintered Democrats and stirred backlash among Republicans in New York and beyond.”

According to USA Today, Cuomo suggested he might veto the bill over concerns that federal immigration officials might get their hands on the records of undocumented applicants, but decided to sign it after reassurance from Attorney General Letitia James.

Under the new law, residents without a social security number (and with no legal status for being in the United States) may use foreign documents such as passports to obtain state-issue driver’s licenses from the Department of Motor Vehicles. New York joins 12 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing illegal immigrants to drive, and New Jersey is currently considering a similar measure.

Support for the New York legislation was largely divided by party lines, with every Republican opposing it, according to The Daily Caller.

Critics say the new law is unconstitutional on its face, and serves as a disincentive for immigrants to pursue legal citizenship. Ahead of the vote, one county clerk even declared he would refuse to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented applicants, no matter what the law says.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola told WRGB-TV, “My approach is we’re not going to give these licenses to illegal immigrants. People have already violated this law by breaking into this country and we view this bill as kind of waiving all that.”

Merola added, “Apparently you’re breaking the law by driving illegally without a license and without insurance and we’re not going to reward that behavior here in Rensselaer County.”

According to the Migration Policy Institute, The Times noted there are roughly 940,000 illegal immigrants living in New York state. The group estimates that 882,000 people within that population are of working age, 600,000 of whom are employed.

USA Today reported that advocates say the new law will allow those workers to obtain “insurance and avoid the threat of deportation if they are pulled over.”

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Joseph Kempski

    June 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Guess then I’ll have to kill them if the dont have insurance

  2. Earnie Bailey

    June 18, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    HOW can a public official support anything containing illegal in it. If I run a red light it’s illegal and I receive the penalty for that. If I fail to pay my taxes, that’s illegal and I will suffer the penalty for that. I know what illegal means but Democrats seem to care what it means.
    They are giving a new definition of being a FREE country.

  3. Tom

    June 18, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    So, essentially Lefty Mario has agreed to allow the documentation of undocumented (illegals) aliens and has approved a law that validates illegal behavior. Another Democrat who is happy to decide that the law is what he says whenever he wants to cancel out the law.

  4. Dennis Craig

    June 18, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Actually this is a good idea. It should make it easier for ICE to locate illegals and deport them.

    • Michael

      June 18, 2019 at 11:11 pm

      I hope that’s the exact effect it does have, where ever they pass this law.

  5. USJoeFreedom

    June 18, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    That would be a violation of federal law to aid and abet illegals… Criminality is at the core of the leftist ideology.

    • Nee

      June 19, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Throw his butt in jail and remove him from the position it’s in. What it’s doing is a crime.

  6. photog

    June 18, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    So, do they have to pass the written and driving tests like Americans do to get a drivers license? And do they really think they’re going to get insurance? I see insurance rates skyrocket. Is New York still a no fault state?

  7. LST

    June 18, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Turning into a second Crapifornia. Leftist assholes.

  8. Fred Sheehan

    June 18, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    If anyone suffers an injury or property damage as a result, New York State will be one of the defendants in the law suit. Pay the slight additional cost for full tort auto insurance.

  9. louise coleman

    June 19, 2019 at 12:20 am

    How wonderful, now Illegals will be a legal driver. They won’t need insurance to drive a stolen car.
    Wake up NY, the next step is that this “picture id” will be used to register to vote.

    There be some indication the license holder is ILLEGAL!!!!!

  10. Paula Blissett

    June 19, 2019 at 3:27 am

    WTF!! Hurry President Trump Start deporting those millions, starting with NEW YORK, PLEASE! Next stop Chicago!!

  11. sharon steiner

    July 3, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    so will these illegals be asked if they are a citizen ??????

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