Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today attended a public hearing to investigate the Governor's plan to hand out driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Nationally recognized experts on homeland security and immigration led the discussion and pointed to deep flaws in the Governor's unilateral policy change.
“This has to be one of the worst policy decisions ever made by a governor in the Empire State,” said Reilich. “In one unilateral move, the Governor has weakened the integrity of our licensure system, weakened both our national and state security and made future air travel more difficult for law-abiding New Yorkers, all in an effort to give illegal immigrants access to driver’s licenses.”
During the event, Assemblyman Reilich asked the panel how the governor’s plan will affect our security. Their answers were disturbing. James Staudenraus, who has worked to improve driver’s license security for more than a decade and was instrumental in developing and passing the federal Real ID Act, stated that Governor Spitzer's rollback of driver’s license security to pre-9/11 levels puts homeland security, public safety and police officer safety at great risk. Under the current driver’s license program in effect since 2002, every Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in our state can quickly verify an applicant's Social Security number. Governor Spitzer has proposed that the DMV accept foreign identity documents that they have no way to authenticate.
Staudenraus went on to add that under the Governor's plan, DMV employees would need to be experts at verifying every national identity card or voter card in the world (there are 194 countries, including Taiwan).
“Driver’s licenses are a privilege, not a right, and they serve as a defacto proof of identity,” remarked Reilich. “In fact, to gain access to the hearing room at 250 Broadway in NYC, attendees had to show their licenses. Driver’s licenses are an important document in today’s society and we need to make certain that they retain their integrity, and are issued only to individuals who have the proper documents to verify their identity.”