McDonough Will Continue to Fight Governorís Plan to Issue Driverís Licenses to Illegal Aliens

October 29, 2007

This weekend, Governor Spitzer pulled back on his plan to give illegal aliens driverís licenses. Many county clerks and more than 70 percent of New Yorkers have stated their opposition and outrage against the governorís ill conceived plan. Now the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff, has come out in opposition to any plan that would grant driverís licenses to illegal aliens.

The plan, in my estimation, has major deficiencies. The governor, since taking office, has continually tried to force his issues and agenda upon the Legislature and the citizens of New York. If he felt this strongly about changing state motor vehicle policy, he should have taken the time to research the issue by gauging the support of local officials, evaluating its consequences on federal law and, most importantly, what New Yorkers thought before issuing his edict.

From the moment the governor released the outline of his plan to grant illegal aliens driverís licenses, my Assembly minority colleagues, state Senators, county clerks and New Yorkers from across the state continually asked the governor to stop this illegal, reckless and irresponsible plan from going forward.

Too many questions still need to be answered. Among them are: Will the equipment used to verify identifications of license applicants be able to identify fake documents? How much will it cost New Yorkers to give illegal aliens driverís licenses? In addition, how will the governor reconcile his unlawful plan with the state law that requires a Social Security number before issuing a driverís license?

The governorís announcement this weekend of a new plan is only a variation on his original plan and, until these questions are fully addressed in an open, honest and forthright manner, it is my intention to continue to fight against any plan that would issue driverís licenses to anyone who is in New York illegally.