Assemblyman Barclay Speaks Out Against Gov. Spitzer’s Move To Change DMV Law To Allow Illegal Aliens To Obtain A License

Assemblyman Will Barclay announces he disagrees with the policy to change the DMV law to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. A press conference was held today at the DMV in East Syracuse.

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I,-Pulaski) said in a press conference today that Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s move to allow illegal aliens to receive a New York State driver’s license is against the law and questioned the Governor’s authority to change that policy single handedly. He also believes if this edict becomes law, it would threaten security and invalidate the driver’s license as a reliable form of identification. Barclay was joined by Assemblyman Dave Townsend (R,C,I,WF-Sylvan Beach), Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly's Committee on Codes, and Oswego County Clerk George Williams at the press conference held at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in East Syracuse today.

Last week, Gov. Spitzer announced that he is changing the DMV law to allow illegal aliens the right to obtain a driver’s license, as long as they present the DMV with a valid foreign passport. They would not, however, need to provide a Social Security number or card, which would prove their citizenship.

“There are two main requirements to obtain a driver’s license in New York: 1.) to pass a driver’s test and 2.) to provide a valid Social Security number and card. It is not within the governor’s scope to change this policy. I mean, if the governor believes we should do away with presenting proper proof of citizenship to the DMV, should we do away with the driver’s test too?” said Barclay.

“This policy defies common sense. Why would we give illegal aliens government documentation?” asked Barclay. “Immigration is really a federal issue and Spitzer’s move seems a backdoor way to create immigration policy,” said Barclay.

The policy also raises security concerns. “You need a driver’s license to get into a government building and to obtain a bank account. Does that mean we’d have to start changing the laws because a driver’s license is not a sufficient form of ID anymore?”

Barclay is not alone in his sentiments. If Spitzer does not rescind his plan to allow illegal aliens to obtain a New York driver’s license, Assembly minority leaders say they will sue him. The conference has rallied against Spitzer’s move to change the DMV requirements and Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I—Schenectady-Saratoga) has issued an ultimatum to Gov. Spitzer. Tedisco says Spitzer’s plan is a “clear and present danger” to our security.

The Assembly minority proposed legislation which would amend the vehicle and traffic law to “provide that certain minimum ID requirements should be mandatory and not left to the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles.” The proposed legislation supports the Federal Real ID Act, which requires states to adopt national standards for driver’s licenses by 2009.