Raia and Conte to File Lawsuit Against Governor

Assembly members aim to stop Spitzer from giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens
October 31, 2007

Unless Governor Eliot Spitzer rescinds his unlawful plan to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses, Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C,WF-East Northport) and Assemblyman Jim Conte (R,C,I,WF-Huntington Station) today said they will join other Assembly Minority Conference members in filing a lawsuit to stop the plan from moving forward.

The lawsuit – which will be filed in state Supreme Court in Albany County tomorrow morning - will list five causes of action.

First, that Governor Spitzer’s plan is in violation of Section 502 of the state Vehicle and Traffic Law, which indicates that the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles shall require a Social Security number before issuing a driver’s license.

Second, that Governor Spitzer’s plan defies the principle of separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches as outlined in Articles I and II of the state Constitution.

Third, that Governor Spitzer’s plan does not follow proper administrative procedure in the manner in which it failed to provide New Yorkers with notice and an opportunity to be heard, as required under the state Administrative Procedure Act.

Fourth, that Governor Spitzer’s plan impairs the legislative intent behind an amendment to the state Vehicle and Traffic Law’s Section 502, which was to enhance the state’s ability to enforce child support obligations.

Finally, that Governor Spitzer’s plan would impair New York’s ability to share driver information with other states.

“Unfortunately, the governor’s actions leave us with no other choice but to sue him,” said Raia. “The governor’s plan is reckless, risky and irresponsible and is opposed by both the Minority and Majority Conference members alike. The governor has ignored our system of checks and balances and the will of the people in moving forward with his plan. Worst of all, in addition to making it easier for potential terrorists to move about our state, the governor’s plan sends the wrong message to illegal immigrants that obtaining a citizenship is no longer a necessity because they will be afforded the same privileges as citizens.”

“Bringing a lawsuit against the governor is no light matter and my Assembly Minority colleagues and I are suing the governor only after our legislative attempts to block his plan were foiled by the Assembly Majority,” remarked Conte. “With 72 percent of the people in this state against the governor’s plan to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses, I feel it is my responsibility to do what is right for the safety and security of our state and nation and block Governor Spitzer’s unlawful plan by any means possible.”

“In addition to weakening our safety and security, the governor’s plan will give illegal aliens the privileges of law-abiding citizens, which may lead to mass voter fraud,” added Conte. “By weakening the integrity of our licensure system, the governor, by decree, is effectively opening the floodgates of New York state to a magnitude of illegal immigration. My colleagues and I will not permit this to happen and will continue to fight the governor’s unlawful plan.”