Contact: Adam D. Kramer, (518) 455-5073
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Statement From Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco

Today the Governor called the overwhelming public outcry against his ill-advised policy to provide illegal aliens with driver licenses a "knee jerk reaction."

If anything's a "knee jerk reaction," it's Governor Spitzer's attempt to dictate from above by unilaterally implementing a misguided and dangerous policy, with blatant disregard for the law, to give illegal aliens driver licenses without getting feedback from experts or consulting with the Legislature.

There have been no public hearings or debates on the matter and when county clerks objected, they were told by the State DMV that no discussion was permitted.

Two years ago, the federal government adopted the Federal Real ID Act of 2005 which prohibits illegal aliens from obtaining driver licenses. That legislation, which Senators Schumer and Clinton supported, passed unanimously in the US Senate. This action was taken after much thought and public debate.

Furthermore, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Ed Koch, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Congresswomen Kirsten Gillibrand all have publicly opposed Governor Spitzer's policy. This is not a partisan issue, it's a protection issue.

Unfortunately, the Governor is trying to confuse this important issue by creating a smokescreen and talking about race and "fear mongering" which has nothing to do with what really must be addressed: protecting the lives of New Yorkers.

This is one man in a room with the far-left liberal special interests. My message to the Governor is clear: You have 29 days to change you misguided policy or I will see you in court.

New York State Assembly
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