Lawmakers take up bill to give undocumented immigrants driver licenses

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) – The New York State Assembly passed legislation to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses.

Allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses is a priority for Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 “I supported it when Elliot Spitzer first supported it as Attorney General, so I support it,” Gov. Cuomo said.

Supporters say it’s ‘about humanity,’ but opponents say it would have ‘unintended consequences.’

“We shouldn’t be creating a law to benefit people who have broken the law. That’s number one, but my larger concern here beyond that is that we are also going to make it a lot easier for people who have no right to vote in our elections,” Assemblymember Dan Stec said.

A recent Siena College Research Institute poll of 812 registered new york voters found 53 percent of those polled oppose drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, while 41 percent support it.

“Democrats support it, Republicans oppose it and on this issue, independents side with the Republicans, they oppose it as well–break even in New York City, but overwhelmingly opposed by Upstate voters,” Steven Greenberg, a Siena College Pollster, said.

Greenberg says it’s still a bump up in support from a previous poll.

Back in March, it was underwater by 25 points, so the gap has narrowed but there’s still opposition.

Since it has passed the Assembly, the bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor.

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