Fitzpatrick: Governorís New Policy is a Dangerous Precedent

September 28, 2007

Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today strongly opposed the governorís policy change that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driverís licenses. The assemblyman says that New York should work to increase safety regulations, not repeal them.

ďAfter the unimaginable September 11 terrorist attacks, Governor Pataki issued an executive order to increase the standards to obtain driverís licenses and boost security throughout the state,Ē said Fitzpatrick. ďBy repealing the executive order, Governor Spitzer has set a dangerous precedent that could lead to revoking many of the safeguards that have kept us secure since that tragic day.Ē

Under the policy change, illegal immigrants would no longer have to provide a valid Social Security number to obtain a driverís license. Many of the radical Islamic terrorists directly involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks used false information to obtain driver licenses that allowed them to move about our country freely and to rent vehicles and board aircraft used in the plot against us.

The Federal Real ID Act requires states to meet certain minimum-security standards in order for state driver licenses to be acceptable. Requirements include that an applicant produce evidence of a valid Social Security number or proof of ineligibility. The only foreign documentation that would be accepted would be a foreign passport with a valid, current US Visa. The federal standards were developed to protect against identity fraud and protect national security.

ďAs members of the Assembly, our most important responsibility is to protect the public,Ē said Fitzpatrick. ďThe Federal Real ID Act was established to help secure our nation. Despite their intentions, the administrationís decision to ignore the regulations and allow illegal aliens to obtain driverís licenses, without regard to citizenship status, is not in the best interest of the state.Ē