Immigrant Licenses
Spectators celebrate as the Green Light Bill sponsored by Sen. Luis R. SepĂșlveda, D-Bronx, granting undocumented Immigrant driver’s licenses was passed by the Senate during a Senate session at the state Capitol on Mon., June 17, 2019, in Albany, N.Y.

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On Monday, the New York Senate passed the “Green Light Bill,” which is designed to give undocumented immigrants the right to a driver’s license. Last week, the Assembly passed the bill, which had the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But earlier Monday, Cuomo told CBS New York that he actually may not sign it.

“If we pass a bill that winds up targeting undocumented, then shame on all of us,” Cuomo said.


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A recent poll released by Siena College showed more than 50% of New Yorkers surveyed were against allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. It’s an especially contentious issue in some suburban communities where critics say the legislation is a path to citizenship.

Proponents say it would boost the economy, and lower the number of uninsured people and improve safety on the road.

“It’s not about giving someone a driver’s license who’s gonna try to get citizenship. It’s about providing someone with the opportunity to be able to drive and have transportation to serve us and our communities collectively,” Democratic Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said.

The governor said he will ask state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood to review the bill and will only sign it if she says it won’t give federal authorities access to the DMV database.

If the Green Light Bill becomes law, legislators say undocumented immigrants will have to follow the same requirements as all licensed drivers in New York, including having auto insurance.

Once passed, New York would become the 12th state to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Washington D.C. is also among those states to have such legislation on the books.

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