With the loss of Republican control in the New York State Senate last November, immigration activists and their political allies across the state have been pushing a variety of bills designed to normalize (and effectively legalize) illegal aliens.
The first big defeat for the rule of law came in late January when the Dream Act passed New York State Senate 40-20 and the New York State Assembly 90-37. The bill, which had been defeated in prior legislative sessions, makes state tuition assistance available to illegal aliens and also creates a fund to give scholarships to the children of immigrants.
Also introduced so far this year are Senate Bill (SB) 425 and Assembly Bill (AB) 2176, which would put up more barriers to federal immigration authorities arresting illegal alien criminals at courthouses.
The bills would also permit illegal aliens to file suit against federal immigration authorities for unlawful arrests, as well as allowing the state attorney general to file suit against the federal government.
Even more dangerous is a measure introduced on January 10 by Democrat state Sen. Gustavo Rivera. In essence the bill would confer “state citizenship” on illegal aliens in direct contradiction to federal law that affords sole authority to the federal to grant lawful status to immigrants.
Among the more troublesome provisions, the New York Is Home Act would extend eligibility to illegal aliens for welfare and other public benefits.
And on the agenda Wednesday in the New York City Council is a vote on a resolution demanding state lawmakers pass legislation allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, which would make it easier for illegal aliens to get work, obtain benefits on the state and local level and evade Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
While it will have no immediate impact on the state licensing laws, city councilman Joseph Borelli (R-Staten Island) told New York Daily News it was pure political posturing.
“This is the latest in another attempt to blur the line between legal and illegal and the rule of law versus open borders,” he said
What could have real impact is a bill proposed in the state Senate in May 2018 that would remove the provision in state law that requires applicants provide a Social Security number in order to get a license. Last November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said the measure would be signed if it passed in this current session.