Bonacic: 2nd Attempt At Licenses For Illegals Is Just As Bad

John J. Bonacic

November 01, 2007

State Senator John Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope), said that Governor Spitzer’s second announced plan on how to license illegal aliens is "just as bad as the first."

"You don’t rush into these major public policy decisions without some thought. Hasty discussions with the Department of Homeland Security, in order to quell what was a political problem, does not translate into good public policy," Bonacic said.

In September, Governor Spitzer announced he would direct the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to grant licenses to illegal aliens. On Saturday, he said he would still grant those licenses but create an additional, more secure class of licenses only for those who can prove they are in the United States legally.

Bonacic said "Beyond the legitimate security concerns of whether those here legally ought to be given the keys to our highways, this policy will create opportunities for voter fraud." Under the Federal "motor voter" law, when someone takes action at the DMV such as obtaining a driver’s license, they are offered the opportunity to register to vote.

"My office twice asked the DMV, and it is a very simple question – will the people signing up for these least secure licenses be given a voter registration form. The DMV spokesperson refused to answer the question. As a lawmaker, when the Governor is announcing a new policy, I expect the DMV can answer some basic questions. If they can’t, the policy should not be implemented," Bonacic said.

The United States Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a statement in opposition to giving licenses to those who are not legally in the United States. County Clerks and Sheriff’s have also opposed licensing those who are not here legally.

"Major policy decisions such as this should be made with legislative input and public hearings. It is my hope that the Governor will rethink this plan and not move forward," concluded Senator Bonacic.