Editor’s note: When it comes to immigration – illegal or otherwise – the American people have a right to be concerned. Each week, Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard examines a contentious issue related to today’s hottest topic.
In New York, the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, also known as the Green Light Law, was approved in June and went into effect on Dec. 16. It mandates that illegal immigrants over the age of 16 can get a valid driver’s license. This affects an estimated 882,000 aliens in that state alone who can now obtain legal documentation to drive. New York and New Jersey have joined 11 other states in giving illegals rights that once belonged to only U.S. citizens.
Supporters of the move claim it will make the roads safer because the undocumented must pass driving tests as well as get car insurance. In addition, they have to pass a written exam to get a learner’s permit and take a road test to be able to drive without supervision.
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, “All applicants for a standard driver license must show a combination of documents that prove 1. name, 2. date of birth, 3. New York State residency.” An odd question, but if they are illegally in the state, how do they prove residency?
One of the scariest things posted on the DMV site is the following, in big, bold font: “You do not need a Social Security card to apply for a license or permit.” This tells us a couple of important things: one, they are not in the country legally; and, two, they are not paying taxes. This is just another way American citizens are forced to support illegal immigration. Our taxes pay for the roads and infrastructure as well as the employees at DMV facilities. Those folks, by the way, have been overwhelmed by people seeking licenses and by the mountain of paperwork and materials required to serve the undocumented. The newly licensed will pay only between $64.50 and $107.50 to become legal drivers.
Safety and Security
DMV personnel complain that they have not been trained enough to handle the huge influx of soon-to-be-legal drivers and their foreign paperwork. Rensselaer County DMV Clerk Frank Merola said that his office will not accept documents for licenses because DMV employees are not qualified to determine the legitimacy of foreign passports or to identify fraudulent documents. “In all the years I’ve been here,” Merola said, “we’ve never taken foreign documents. Now, they want us to stand at the counter and make a judgment.”
Some fear even more severe consequences. Niagara County Clerk Joseph Jastremski is concerned the legal form of identification may be used to vote, even though the state says that won’t happen and the DMV website said these particular licenses will be marked “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES.” He is worried “[t]hey are going to be able to use that driver’s license to board an airplane, to enter a federal facility. There are a lot of people out there who would love do to harm.”
The state Association of County Clerks reached out to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the DMV, asking to halt the program “for the safety and security of all New Yorkers.” It claimed the law was implemented too quickly, and training consisted only of “two hastily delivered webinars and a conference call.”
Clerks from Erie, Niagara, and Rensselaer counties have sued the state over the law, but so far the courts have not ruled in their favor. The association said in a statement:
“Because of these lax regulations, implementation of the State law at this time would create unacceptable security risks as the loopholes allow for nefarious people to obtain a New York State Standard Driver License and use it to commit bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, human trafficking and other criminal activities.”
And let’s not forget voter fraud. In many areas, people can register to vote through their local DMV. However, as Liberty Nation pointed out when a software error caused approximately 77,000 voter records in California to become compromised, this system is far from secure and reliable.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.