Ivan Pentchoukov, Epoch Times, June 18, 2019
The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late on June 17 that Cuomo will sign a bill granting driver licenses to illegal aliens.
The Democrat-controlled New York State Senate passed the law hours prior to Cuomo’s approval, according to the New York Post. The measure passed by a 33-29 vote, with several Republicans and Democrats breaking party lines. The state’s lower house approved the bill a week earlier.
“We are treating the people who have broken our law, who are criminals [like law-abiding citizens]. This legislation will lead to more illegal immigration,” State Sen. Thomas O’Mara (R) said as he voted against the law, according to the Post.
Cuomo’s move was largely symbolic. The governor has supported the proposal for years.
The law becomes effective in 180 days, meaning illegal aliens will begin applying for driver licenses in December.
A recent Sienna poll showed that 53 percent of the voters statewide opposed the law while 41 percent showed support for it.
All six of the Democrats from competitive districts in Long Island opposed the measure, fearing backlash from a district dealing with the violent MS-13 gang.
Twelve states already grant driver licenses to illegal aliens, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
California, the home to the largest number of illegal aliens in the United States, enacted the law in 2013. More than one million illegal aliens received driver licenses there since the law took effect in 2015, according to the LA Times.
Democrats supporting the measure argue that illegal aliens learn to drive and get tested and insured as a result, adding to overall road safety for all. Republicans argue that the move legitimizes illegal immigration and may allow illegal aliens to register to vote.