Statement From Senator Larkin On Governor's Latest Plan To Give Driver's Licenses To Illegals

William J. Larkin, Jr.

October 30, 2007

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today reacted to Governor Eliot Spitzer’s modified proposal to give New York State driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

Senator Larkin said, "The Governor's new alien license plan still won't keep us safe. Governor Spitzer has made an abrupt U-turn on his plan to provide New York State licenses to illegal aliens. However, he is still insisting that they receive legitimate licenses.

This is only another scheme to carry out his original plan of giving New York State licenses to lawbreakers. It still poses an extreme risk to all legal residents. It is still a threat to New Yorkers’ safety, and could put an official state ID in the hands of those who would do us harm.

The Governor has announced he will replace his original plan to provide licenses to illegal aliens with a new, three-tiered licensing system that is both costly and confusing. Under the Governor's latest plan, driver’s licenses would still be available to those without Social Security numbers or proof of their legal presence in the US. For an extra fee, citizens and legal residents could obtain an enhanced license that would require additional proof of identity.

Governor Spitzer just doesn't get it. Hudson Valley residents have been calling my district and Albany offices all day today expressing their frustration over this ill conceived plan as well as their sincere concern about basic safety. Also, surveys show that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers want secure drivers licenses, and only for citizens and legal residents. Governor Spitzer believes there is no difference between a driver’s license and a "Metrocard," used to ride New York City's subways and buses.

Most New Yorkers agree that a driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. And they understand that driver’s licenses are a critical form of ID that provide access to other documents and should be as secure as possible. By insisting on ignoring the commonsense views of the vast majority of New Yorkers who are concerned about safety and security, Governor Spitzer could be giving official New York State driver’s licenses to people who can't prove who they say they are.

I will continue to oppose the Governor's dangerous policy."