Senate Passes Bill To Prohibit Drivers Licenses For Illegal Aliens

Martin J. Golden

October 25, 2007

The New York State Senate late last night passed legislation that would stop Governor Spitzer’s plan to issue drivers licenses to illegal aliens by requiring a social security number or proof of authorized presence in the United States to obtain a New York State drivers license or non-driver identification card.

"I have never seen such strong and united opposition to a proposal by the Governor," Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said. "Governor Spitzer’s plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens has incensed New Yorkers in every part of the State and every political party because they see the threat it would pose to public safety and security. The Governor insists on moving forward with this plan, but the Senate has passed legislation to stop it. I urge the Assembly to pass this bill to send a clear message to the Governor that he should drop this plan."

The legislation (S.6484) the Senate passed is sponsored by Senator Frank Padavan (R-C, Queens) and co-sponsored by Senator Marty Golden (R-C, Brooklyn). It would require applicants for a drivers license or non-driver identification card to submit a social security number. When a social security number cannot be provided, the applicant must demonstrate they are ineligible to get a number and provide satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.

The Senate held a public hearing on the legislation last week. Experts on national security, immigration, secure drivers licenses and ID cards, and representatives of the families of 9/11 victims spoke out against the Governor’s plan, calling it a threat to security.

Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) said: "The Governor’s proposal to give illegal immigrants drivers licenses is wrong on so many levels. It flaunts the Constitution and the laws of our Nation as well as of our State, and puts the lives of all New Yorkers at risk. The reason we passed this legislation is because the Governor turned his back on the wishes of his constituents and is pursuing an ill-conceived and potentially deadly agenda."

The bill was sent to the Assembly.