NY Again Weighs Driver’s Licenses for Those in the Country Illegally

March 23, 2019. This article, the author provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions asked about providing undocumented immigrants with access to driver’s licenses. The questions the author provided answers to include the following: does current law prohibit those in the country illegally from obtaining driver’s licenses in New York, is legislation to legalize driver’s licenses for these immigrants expected to pass, how many immigrants are we talking about, Who opposes the measure, and how would an applicant prove identity?

New York is again considering legalizing driver’s licenses for people who are in the country illegally, but the issue remains a thorny one for legislators and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and might not be done until the end of the session in June, if then.

A dozen states as well as the District of Columbia now issue licenses to those in the country illegally. Even the federal REAL ID program, which is aimed at providing better ID cards to combat terrorism, have allowed states to offer driver’s licenses to those immigrants, as long as they are clearly marked as not being suitable for federal identification purposes.

Q: How many immigrants are we talking about?

A: The labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute think tank estimates that if the bill passed, 150,000 immigrants in New York City would apply for licenses and a total of more than 250,000 would secure licenses statewide within three years. That would result in $26 million in one-time fees, and $28 million for the state and $21 million for local governments in annual revenue, according to the think tank.

Here is the link to Newsday.

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