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Holden Strongly Opposes Albany’s Driver’s License Bill For Undocumented NYers

City Council Member Robert Holden. (New York City Council)

June 6, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

City Council Member Robert Holden is speaking out against a controversial bill making its way through the state legislature that would grant 265,000 undocumented immigrants the opportunity to obtain a New York driver’s license.

“We are a nation of laws, and driving is not a right, it is a privilege,” Holden wrote on Facebook yesterday. “For the State to pass such legislation, which would only make New York a magnet for fraud, is dangerous and misguided. Rewarding individuals who broke our laws is political pandering, period.”

The proposed legislation, introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly in January, would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license without a social security number, as New York law currently requires. Applicants would need to present a foreign ID and pass a driving test. The bill would forbid the DMV from retaining application documents, as is standard with traditional license applications.

The bill, which passed through the Assembly Transportation Committee on Wednesday, will likely be brought to the Assembly floor for a vote next week, where it is expected to be passed.

But winning passage in the Senate is less certain as many Democrats upstate and on Long Island are hesitant in supporting the bill. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans steadfastly oppose the bill.

A Siena Research Institute poll conducted in March found that 61 percent of New York respondents opposed the idea.

While the bill has been hotly debated, the concept of allowing undocumented immigrants the right to obtain a driver’s license is not new to New York.

Prior to 9/11, undocumented immigrants in New York were able to obtain a license. And despite GOP members’ claims surrounding voter fraud, no such fraud was found in New York, or the 12 other states where similar legislation exists.

In February, Holden voted against a City Council resolution to support the state legislation, arguing that in New Mexico—one of the 12 states that currently allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses—there have been incidents of licenses being sold to residents of different states.

Holden left the City Council Immigration committee in April after calling the committee “all one-sided.”

Several Queens-based Democrats have voiced their support for the bill, namely State Assembly Member Catalina Cruz, one of the co-sponsors on the bill, citing the potential for increased road safety and regulation of drivers.

“This bill will lead to safer roads, more registered and insured drivers, increase state funds, and allow immigrants to drive without fear of getting deported for getting pulled over,” Cruz told the Jackson Heights Post in April.

In the 12 states, and District of Columbia, where similar legislation has been passed, there has been a drop in the number of hit-and-runs after undocumented immigrants were given the right to drive and get insurance.

If passed, the measure is also expected to bring in roughly $57 million in annual revenue, in addition to $26 million in one-time revenues from registration fees, according to a 2017 Fiscal Policy Institute Report.

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Tyronne Fauntleroy

Finally a republican came forward and wants to save ny, Thank god!!

another 9/11

Glad someone has the guts to oppose the progressive nuts. What kind of ID will an undocumented immigrant use to get their driver’s license? Once they have their license, they have access to alot of stuff. Have we not learn anything from 9/11? Is this going to invite another 9/11 from happening?

Wait, you actually think "alot" is a word?

I know Trumpeters aren’t great at logic, but how do driver’s licenses make another 9/11? Lmao!

No bagels for Sunnyside until it behaves

“We are a nation of laws, and driving is not a right, it is a privilege”

Do we enforce neighborhood speeding? placard abuse? double parking? roll stop signs? Or course not. Don’t be law & order hypocrites. You don’t support laws, you support conveniences.

No licenses

Driving is a privilege for citizens and people who are in the country legally. Saying that giving illegal aliens drivers licenses helps to ensure safety is a weak and false argument. What’s next? Giving illegal aliens the right to vote? Political correctness run amok.

Sara Ross

What people seem to forget is that if you’re undocumented, you probably have no insurance, but even if you are documented, you may not have insurance. If you get into an accident with one of these drivers, YOU pay for your repairs and YOU pay for the increased premium in your car insurance! I know people who take Access A Ride and most times, there are drivers (especially the Asian ones) who don’t speak English, so if you tell them where to go, if you know a better route, they speak in their language and they’re probably cursing at you. How about offering ESL classes if you’re here for more than 2 years and stop putting every freakin sign in every language? People come here for a better life and that’s wonderful, but they should assimilate to us, not us to them.

Wow, imagine being this fragile

If you get your feelings hurt by people speaking another language this _might_ not be the city for you

P. Beadle

Disappointingly short sighted. Leave it to the Feds to enforce immigration rules, that’s not the issue. Creating a legal opportunity for people to be ale to drive makes all of us safer. You are delusional if you think not having a license magically stops people who need to drive from drive. Denying licenses just means no driver’s test and no driver’s education. A vote against this bill isn’t just misplaced and short-sighted, it actively prevents us from instituting a means to make our streets safer.

No way

Are you kidding. Giving illegal aliens drivers licenses makes us safer. What kind of convoluted logic is that. Where is your evidence to support that

Well like they said it makes them get a driver’s test and no driver’s education

Sorry you missed that sentence.

Do you have a shred of evidence that that’s wrong? So far you’ve provided nothing.

Common Sense

Finally a voice of reason within the Democratic Party. If more democrats will finally start putting reasonable limits on runaway progressivism then they might have a chance of taking over the presidency in 2020.

One tired person

It is simple common sense. Why create a problem and later worry about a solution. Isn’t this what got us into this situation??


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