Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) today voted to require applicants for New York State drivers licenses to provide a social security number or other forms of official identification that proves authorized presence in the United States. The bill would keep in place the stringent requirements put in place after September 11, 2001 to ensure only legal citizens obtained official photo identification from New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
"Currently, a driver's license is an acceptable form of identification for registering to vote. Voting is a precious right that allows us to determine who our elected representatives are, how much we pay in taxes, who runs our schools, etc.", said Senator Alesi. "A drivers license is the most widely recognized form of identification in this country. New York should not be in the business of providing legal photo identification to those who have entered our country illegally. The people of this state are speaking out in great numbers that they oppose the Governor’s plan to do away with the social security requirement and I intend to represent the views of my constituents on the floor of the Senate through this vote today."
The Senate Committees on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs and Transportation held a hearing on the Governor’s plan. Experts in homeland security, immigration, terrorism, a number of county clerks and previous commissioners of motor vehicles all testified and agreed that this plan would be a great threat to security for both New York and the United States.
"We have taken so many great steps forward to protect our state and our country since September 11," said Senator Alesi. "Instituting a policy that laxes security requirements to obtain a drivers license is a step in the wrong direction. I urge the Assembly to join with the Senate in passage of this legislation and ask the Governor to re-think his plan for the sake of every legal citizen of this country."