Licenses urged for the undocumented

Jose Peralta

December 18, 2013

As reported by the Times Union:

It's been more than six years since former Gov. Eliot Spitzer tried to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses.

The move sparked a firestorm of protest, with numerous county clerks refusing to go along and Republicans assailing the Democratic governor's idea.

There was widespread voter anger, too, and Spitzer ultimately abandoned the plan, saying "you don't need a stethoscope to hear the heartbeat of the public on this one."

Now a group of Democratic lawmakers hopes to bring back the idea, pointing to other states that have since allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain licenses.

"The climate now is much different," said Democratic Sen. Jose Peralta of Queens, who along with fellow Democratic Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda from the Bronx is sponsoring a bill that would let undocumented immigrants get licenses.

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