Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) today issued the following statement after Assembly Majority members passed a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain New York State driver’s licenses.
“New York Majority politicians have created a law to help people currently breaking the law. It’s the irrational, backwards approach that has defined Albany’s legislative session all year,” Leader Kolb said. “Driving is a privilege, not a right. And those with expectations of enjoying the privileges of citizenship should first go through the citizenship process – just as hundreds of thousands of people from foreign countries do every year. There’s a long list of issues and problems we need to solve in New York State. Putting illegal immigrants on the road is not one of them.”
A recent Siena College Research Institute poll shows voters in New York State oppose the measure 53 percent to 41 percent, and 62 to 35 in upstate New York. Closer to home, Leader Kolb’s 2019 Legislative Survey showed residents disapproved of the measure by a much-wider 72 percent to 28 percent margin. County clerks and law-enforcement organizations have indicated that the legislation conflicts with federal law, increases the potential for identity theft, and opens the door for possible voter fraud.
“Not long ago, the sitting lieutenant governor was prepared to arrest illegal immigrants if they walked into a DMV and tried to get a driver’s license. Now, we are actually encouraging individuals to side-step the law, and granting them the same privileges afforded to American citizens,” Leader Kolb added. “Downstate liberals must consider the full weight of this proposal. Passing measures like this represents a complete disregard for the law and invites others to take advantage of New York’s already frustrated taxpayers.”