While New York’s elected officials have never shied away from approving laws or policies that afford generous benefits to illegal aliens, like in-state tuition, workers compensation and free health care (which they’re now receiving), voters are clearly opposed to a proposal that would give them driver’s licenses. And the numbers prove it.
A recent Siena College poll found 61 percent of New Yorkers are opposed to giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, including 45 percent of those who identify as Democrats, 84 percent of Republicans, and 71 percent of Independents. Only 34 percent actually support the idea. In another survey, Quinnipiac University found 57 percent of New Yorkers opposed—and even 48 percent of those living in New York City, where most of the state’s illegal aliens are concentrated.
Yet evidently none of that means much to Democrats in Albany, who are mulling a last-ditch effort to ram through legislation before they’re scheduled to adjourn on June 19. In fact, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) told reporters just last month the Assembly “is supportive of driver’s licenses for all” and plans to move ahead with Assembly Bill (A.) 3675, or the “Green Light Bill,” as it’s colloquially known.
To make matters worse, Heastie believes New Yorkers suffer from an “education problem” and has ordered his caucus to lecture their own constituents about how illegal aliens are victims of unjust laws and why they deserve the same privileges as American citizens. He’s betting large that voters will lend their support to the bill after being indoctrinated with propaganda. However, he just might be gravely mistaken.
If anything, the Green Light
Bill has stirred up a hornet’s nest across the Empire State. So much, in fact,
that state and local officials are denouncing it from one end of the state to
State Senator Daphne Jordan (R), who represents parts of Saratoga and Rensselaer counties, spoke out against the bill at a recent press conference, saying, “[t]his is about our laws … giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants will make our roadways less safe, impair the ability of law enforcement to do their job, and increase the possibility for fraud and other forms of identification theft.”
She’s not alone. Dozens of legislators, sheriffs, and county clerks have made similar statements, and at least five counties have already adopted resolutions opposing the Green Light Bill: Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Niagara, and Saratoga. A sixth resolution awaits a hearing in Erie County, the state’s most populous county outside the greater New York City area. On top of that, the New York State Association of County Clerks has even threatened legal action against the state should the proposal become law.
This isn’t the opposition’s first rodeo though. Former Governor Eliot Spitzer (D) pushed a similar bill in 2007, but was forced to withdraw it after facing a firestorm of opposition from Republicans and even many Democrats, including then-Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul (D), who’s now the lieutenant governor. She has since changed her position.
Unlike Spitzer, the current Democrat-controlled legislature is looking to make good on campaign promises this year. Also, the open-borders lobby has a lot of them over the barrel thanks to a large and well-funded campaign. Since January, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) has funneled more than $1 million towards its Super PAC in an effort to influence votes, saying it “means business this year.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has stated publicly that he’ll sign the bill should the legislature send it to him. However, he might be speaking out of both sides of his mouth. It’s rumored he has concerns about the bill causing “political blowback” and is encouraging vulnerable senators from competitive districts to derail it.
If Cuomo were smart, he’d put up a red light for the Green Light Bill and tell the Democrats to stand down or risk upsetting more than half of the state’s voters. Even if he did it privately, the Democrats would be wise to heed that warning because New Yorkers are against giving illegal aliens a “green light” for driver’s licenses.