Senator Seward, Assemblyman Lopez and Schoharie County Officials Call Upon The Governor To Rescind New Driver’s License Policy

October 1, 2007
On Monday, October 1, Senator James L. Seward (R,C,I – Milford) and Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) joined County Sheriff John Bates and other officials in calling upon Governor Spitzer to rescind his policy change that will allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in New York.

“The governor’s action – again trying an end run around the legislature – would seriously place every New Yorker at risk and dramatically compromise our security,” Seward said. “And it’s not fair to the thousands of immigrants who played by the rules and became part of our society legally.”

“We need to have open debate and discussion about this issue before we can possibly allow these changes to occur,” Lopez said. “Not only does this Administrative Policy Change directly contradict measures that will be put in place by the Federal Real ID Act, but it will allow possible foreign terrorists to obtain the right to travel throughout our country, and that is unacceptable.”

Last week the governor rescinded an Executive Order issued in 2002 that required all applicants seeking a New York State drivers license to show a valid Social Security card which proves they are citizens of the United States. These representatives of the people point out that Spitzer’s policy creates dangerous loopholes in state motor vehicle regulations that allow anyone to apply and receive a driver’s license regardless of citizenship status. Furthermore, this new policy may violate the Federal Real ID Act and could make a state driver’s license an unacceptable form of proof of citizenship at our nation’s borders.

“A valid New York State Driver’s License currently is a universally acceptable form of identification,” said Schoharie County Sheriff John Bates. “It is accepted because of the stringent requirements to obtain one. Weakening those requirements compromises the integrity of our system and makes law enforcement efforts more difficult.”

“The man we thought we elected is not the man we got,” said John Radliff, Schoharie County Dairy Farmer. “The people of New York deserve better than this.”