O’Mara blasts move to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants: Says New York State becoming a haven for lawbreakers and putting law-abiding citizens at risk

June 05, 2019

Senator O’Mara strongly opposes legislation to allow the state to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Senator O’Mara strongly opposes legislation to allow the state to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

It puts overall public safety and security at risk, and imposes another unfunded mandates on counties.

Albany, N.Y., June 5—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today joined his Senate GOP colleagues to protest a move by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic leaders of the State Legislature to allow the state to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

“Governor Cuomo and the Democratic leaders of the Legislature are making New York State a haven for lawbreakers.  It is a radical, irresponsible, and reckless agenda.  I warned before this new legislative session even started that this state would be turned upside down at breakneck speed.  Following outrageous parole releases and other questionable actions in the name of ‘criminal justice,’ the next step is to reward lawbreaking illegal immigrants with a government-issued driver’s license.  It puts overall public safety and security at risk, imposes another unfunded mandates on counties, and asks local, law-abiding public servants to break the law,” said O’Mara.

The Democrat-sponsored legislation (S1747/A3675) is currently in the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees.  The Assembly plans to act on it next week. 

The legislation would permit illegal immigrants to apply for a standard New York State driver’s license using forms of foreign identification. 

Among numerous concerns, O’Mara and other opponents argue that county clerks and employees at local Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are unable to verify the authenticity of foreign IDs.

The New York Association of County Clerks opposes the measure.

Only twelve states and Washington, D.C. allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license.