After weeks of leading the opposition against Governor Spitzer’s illegal plan to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) was pleased that the governor has finally decided to rescind the plan.
“I am very pleased that the governor has finally listened to the people of this state and put their security interests ahead of politics,” said Hawley. “As elected officials, it is our duty to represent the will of the people and I am glad that the governor has finally understood this.”
Hawley was one of the most outspoken critics of the governor’s plan and hosted a series of forums across the state to garner public input after the governor initially released his plan back in September. Hawley also distributed a petition against the plan on which he collected over 4,000 signatures in opposition to the governor’s actions. However, despite opposition from the public, the New York State County Clerks Association, and many other interest groups and elected officials, the governor remained adamant that he would go forward with his plan.
Yesterday, Siena College released a poll that found the governor’s approval rating was at an all time low. In fact, the poll found that if the 2010 gubernatorial election were to be held today, only 25 percent of New Yorkers would re-elect him. Due in large part to his driver’s license plan, his job performance was also rated as unfavorable by the majority of voters who also believed that his plan would have risked the security of the state and the nation.
“I share the governor’s hope that illegal immigration will be addressed in a serious manner by our federal government. Legal immigrants play a vital role in our state’s agricultural markets and we need to seriously consider ways in which we can fight illegal immigration without hurting those who are here legally and making a contribution. I encourage our Congressional representatives to address the ‘Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007’ (AgJOBS) as this federal bill will increase border security, strengthen the safety of our food supplies, increase job security, develop a trained and trusted labor force, and provide our country with long-term economic stability. For all these reasons and more, Congress must act swiftly to enact this legislation,” stated Hawley.
He continued, “As we have learned, this issue is important to the people of our state along with other issues I have been fighting for, such as lowering property taxes and improving education. Legal immigrants play a vital role in our state’s agricultural markets and we need to seriously consider ways in which we can fight illegal immigration without hurting those who are here legally and making a contribution. I look forward to working with the governor to address these issues.”