The Empire State has now joined 12 other states and the District of Columbia in permitting illegal immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.
By December of this year, people in the state illegally can be driving legally — and in possession of an all-important piece of identification.
Republicans are outraged.
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“Shame on the Democrats for bringing this bill to the floor — and the Long Island Democrats,” New York State’s Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk) told The New York Post before the vote on the controversial measure on Monday.
“The Democratic senators said they would get here and protect the interests of Long Island and they wouldn’t allow New York City to control and dominate the agenda,” he also said.
“They have failed miserably.”
On Monday night, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law the measure allowing illegal immigrants in New York to receive driver’s licenses. The state’s Senate Democrats earlier had passed the legislation by a vote of 33-29.
Yet all six Long Island lawmakers disagreed with the measure “over fears the bill could prove politically toxic in their swing districts,” as The New York Post put it.
The New York State Assembly approved the bill last week.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — a Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election — fully supports the measure.
But Republican lawmakers in the state are saying those who break the law in New York will now be treated the same as law-abiding citizens.
Democrats, for their part, are saying things like, “Be careful, your xenophobia is showing” — as state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) told naysayers during the legislators’ debate.
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A recent Siena Poll showed that voters statewide were against the driver’s license measure by 53 percent to 41 percent — with 55 percent of independent voters against it and those who live upstate even more fervently against it.
Here’s how The Post outlined the case for giving illegals this important piece of identification: “Proponents have long argued that the bill would improve safety on the roads by ensuring drivers are properly trained and licensed, and that it would help better integrate New York’s estimated 265,000 illegal immigrants into the state’s economy and society” (emphasis added).
But opponents — among many other worries — are concerned the measure will allow these illegal immigrants to register to vote.
With the Monday night signing of the measure by Cuomo, the following 13 states now have laws on their books that allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license or some other form of driver’s permit: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Separately, President Donald Trump on Monday said U.S. authorities next week would begin removing millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally.
See more on the driver’s license issue below, share your thoughts — and watch this video.
Unreal. This country is being lost more every day! https://t.co/UxdM0Yj0CB
— Mary Evans (@meano15) June 18, 2019
— New York Post (@nypost) June 18, 2019
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a bill into law allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. pic.twitter.com/OQQcMp8wjP
— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) June 18, 2019
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 17, 2019
— FL Skins (@JConwell512) June 18, 2019