I am writing to express my thanks to our state representatives who opposed the new ”Green Light” Law that just passed, which will allow illegal individuals to obtain a New York State Driver’s License. Thank you to Sens. Pamela Helming, Jim Seward and Bob Antonacci and Assemblymen Gary Finch, Brian Manktelow and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
As your county clerk for the past 15 years, I have worked through many changes made by Albany lawmakers. They claim this law would make our country safer. County clerks across the state raised concerns about the following:
1. When an illegal individual walks up to the DMV counter, they are not required to submit anything other than a foreign document, AND my DMV staff cannot question the individual, or the document. We must accept it.
We all know that when a U.S. citizen walks up to the counter, we have to question all of their documents and often times, due to state regulations, they need additional documents! What part of this law makes our country safer?
2. After the illegal individual provides us with a foreign document, a screen pops up and asks, “Are you a U.S. Citizen?” If they answer YES, then they can electronically register to vote! The law forbids DMV employees to question this illegal act. We have to watch them break the law if they choose to register.
What part of this law makes our country safer?
3. This law also amends the Privacy Act. Once the illegal person gets his driver’s license, if they get stopped, law enforcement will not have background information about that individual, yet if you or I get stopped, law enforcement has background information.
What part of this law makes our country and our law enforcement safer?
The county clerks brought all of the above concerns to the attention of the majority party in Albany and they didn’t move an inch to change the language in their bill. We asked them to look at the driver’s license laws in other states, they would not. They were not open to compromise.
Thanks to all of the people in our community who contacted me about this issue. We should not reward people who break the law. A driver’s license is a privilege. We have law for a reason, and they are meant to be followed.
Sue Dwyer is Cayuga County clerk