Statement From Senate Republican Leader Flanagan

If hardworking, middle-class families want a real life example of the grave consequences of one party rule, they should look no further than tomorrow’s effective date on Democrats' scheme to give illegal immigrants New York driver’s licenses. This wrongheaded and dangerous policy brings us one step closer to New York becoming a complete sanctuary for individuals who are in our state and nation illegally.

Having a driver’s license is a privilege. However, the Democrats’ so-called “Green Light” Law throws open the doors to our state Department of Motor Vehicles to give illegal immigrants license to flout and break our laws.

This misguided law deliberately creates barriers for law enforcement, specifically immigration officials, who often need to access information in an investigation so they can keep us safe.

It will also lead to voter fraud, allowing anyone applying for a standard license to simply check off a box and register to vote in our elections. Nobody will be checking whether or not a citizen checked that box or even if they are eligible to vote in the first place. If we can’t secure our own elections, nothing else will matter.

Democrats believe that subverting federal immigration law is good public policy. I vehemently disagree. Their dangerous new law will only make New York a destination for lawbreakers, and lessen their desire to become American citizens.

Earlier this year, one party rule also delivered $27 million in free college tuition for illegal immigrants while middle-class families who have lived and worked here their entire lives sink deeper and deeper into debt trying to afford college for their own kids. When will it end?

Clearly, Democrats are not listening to county clerks from one end of this state to the other who want nothing to do with this law, the law enforcement officials who have expressed serious concerns, or the public who overwhelmingly and justifiably opposes it.

Instead, Democrats would rather make New York into a home for those who violate our laws. When those foolhardy decisions lead to lawlessness and chaos, with local governments pitted against the state lawmakers in Albany who crafted this radical plan, New Yorkers will know exactly who to blame.