New York will become the 13th state to authorize driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.
The state Senate approved the proposal Monday following Assembly passage last week. Democrats lead both chambers.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support appeared in doubt Monday after he voiced concerns that U.S. immigration officials could use state license information to target immigrants for deportation. He asked for a legal review by the office of Attorney General Letitia James, who responded saying she supports the bill but wouldn’t speculate on the federal response.
“I support the Green Light bill, and the Office of Attorney General has concluded that it is constitutional. We will not opine on any actions the federal government may or may not take.
“The legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses. If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it.”
~ Attorney General Letitia James
Cuomo’s office then announced he would sign the bill.
Supporters include the state Business Council and immigrant advocates who say licenses would help immigrants get to work and complete everyday tasks.
Republican lawmakers said people shouldn’t be rewarded for violating immigration rules.