New York State Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District), a member of the New York State Senate Majority Task Force on Immigration, today announced the release of a comprehensive report on Governor Spitzer’s plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. The report entitled Fiasco: The Governor’s Plan to Grant Illegal Aliens Driver’s Licenses in New York State is the first legislative report that details the plan, which has since been withdrawn.
The report discusses the specifics of the Governor’s plan, illegal immigration in New York, and how the plan ran counter to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and in direct violation of the Federal REAL ID Act. The report also provides detailed examination of the legislation introduced in the State Senate that will prohibit issuing a driver’s license to an illegal alien.
Senator Flanagan said: "This report outlines what most New Yorkers already know - Governor Spitzer's proposal was wrong for our state. This shortsighted and dangerous plan was hugely unpopular and the fact that it has been rejected is a victory for our residents. We must continue to strengthen the laws of our state to make sure that licenses are only provided to those who are in the country legally and that this ill-conceived policy is never revisited."
Senator Flanagan was instrumental in getting the Spitzer plan withdrawn and has worked to strengthen New York State laws to ensure that this plan is not revisited in the future.
In June, he sponsored and gained Senate passage of legislation that would have strengthened the identification requirements for obtaining driver's licenses and permanently established this important regulation in state law.
And during a special session of the Senate in October, he joined with Senator Frank Padavan (11th Senate District), Chair of the Senate Majority Task Force on Immigration, to pass legislation requiring applicants for driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards to provide proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the United States.
Because standard driver's licenses are usually issued for an eight-year period, the legislation sponsored by Senator Flanagan would also link the expiration of a driver's license to a person's legal status. If a person's stay has no definite period of legal status but will eventually expire, the legislation would call for the issuing of a identification that lasts for one year.
Both pieces of legislation have been sent to the Assembly but have not yet been acted on.
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