I am pleased to inform you that Governor Spitzer has abandoned his plan to give licenses to illegal aliens because the people of this state abandoned him and overwhelmingly said he was wrong.
His plan was developed in secret, behind closed doors, and without any input from the Legislature, the experts or the people. When he sprung his plan on a surprised public, it triggered an uprising among average citizens and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.
The Governor’s plan would have jeopardized public safety and security. Even the federal Department of Homeland Security opposed the idea of giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. It would have also created a bureaucratic mess for county clerks who refused to endorse or implement his drivers license plan and would have created an expensive licensing program that would have been a new burden on taxpayers who didn't want it in the first place.
However, despite overwhelming opposition from the people, the Governor ignored them and arrogantly moved ahead with his plan until he caused an uprising among his own party. Only when national politics interceded, only then did he choose to back down.
My colleagues and I in the Senate listened to the people of New York State and we were prepared to stop any effort to allow such an ill-conceived and wrong-headed plan to go forward. We made it clear, during two public hearings and our passage of legislation last month, that we will do all we can to stop his plan and prevent any funding for it.
Still persisting in his arrogance, this morning the Governor chose to blame federal immigration policy rather than admit that he was trying to force a bad idea on people who clearly did not want it. He still supports the idea of giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens and he cannot be trusted to fully abandon a plan that he pushed with such passion and arrogance.
I want to let you know that I will continue to act to ensure that he does not resurrect a plan that so many people recognized was bad for New York State.