September 26, 2007

Does the License Plan Impact the Border

In a thread from a few days ago, I mentioned the lack of coverage given to Governor Spitzer's plan to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. What I find fascinating is the lack of discussion about the impact this plan may or may not have on our community.

Let's set aside the politics of immigration. Let's set aside that this issue is red meat to conservatives on one side and trolling for Latino support on the other. Let's set aside the argument that this is validating illegal behavior versus it's making the streets safer.

Instead, let's focus on an issue for Western New York in which there is near unanimous shouldn't need a passport to drive over the bridge to Canada. We all know that requiring passports will be a huge financial burden on many people and will really hurt tourism and commerce.

That's why our Congressional Delegation, in a bi-partisan manner, has been fighting the White House and Homeland Security on this. Instead, the argument has been made that driver's licenses should be good enough. There are some pilot programs being conducted where enhanced drivers' licenses are being tried. A state needs to show the federal government that its drivers license program is stringent enough that it's as good as a passport.

Now guess what? Giving illegal immigrants driver's licenses will kill New York's chances of getting around the passport requirement...thank you Governor.

Spitzer's people are saying that the above statement isn't accurate. That illegals won't be able to get the "enhanced" driver's license. Others dispute that.

The fact is, the border is far more important than giving licenses to illegal immigrants. The governor should have cleared all of this up and had definitive answers from Washington before embarking on this policy change.

And worse, the lack of serious coverage on this issue has led to further confusion. Considering every single media outlet has covered the border issue and many editorials have been written against the passport requirement, one would think this topic would merit considerably more coverage.


Scott Leffler said...

Sail Away,

For more on this topic, check my podcast from yesterday. I did a whole show on the issue.

Podcast link

Since I'm whoring myself, I might as well also note that today's topic is Anonymous attacks on blogs, in mailers, and on push polls.

Mr. Pink said...


From what you know, will the governor's plan screw up efforts to kill the passport requirement for travel to Canada or not?

Scott Leffler said...


I don't KNOW anything, but can ascertain that since NY licenses no longer fit the bill for the "Real ID Act," it certainly won't help.

But the border is only half the problem. By 2009, our licenses will be useless for domestic air travel as well. We'll all need passports to fly.

Mr. Pink said...

That being the case, Sail Away was absolutely right. The Governor should have solved the border issue first and then moved to change the immigration piece. His priorities are wrong.

Turk 182 said...

Why are we being so politically correct? The question is why the hell are illegal immigrants, which by definition means lawbreakers, being given any privileges? And if Spitzer so believes in this plan, why did he release it on a Friday afternoon? Notice he hasn't said boo about it since.

Larry S said...

If there is anyone out there that believes this is anything other than cowtowing to the Hispanic vote, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

Of course, if Spitzer has his way, you'll have to pay in pesos to cross, with all profits going to the Greater New York Latino Driver Education Fund.

What a disgrace.

Virtual Unreality said...

If there was EVER a doubt that this state is controlled by downstate interests, that doubt has been completely removed by this Spitzer move.

It's nearly Day 300, and upstate is getting f----d even more with Spitzer in charge.

Anonymous said...

larry S

you are an ignorant jerk!!!

Larry S said...

Jerk, maybe. Ignorant, no. I'm right and you know it. If I'm wrong, tell me why.

Scott Leffler said...

Anon, be a little more considerate. This behavior is what I talked about today. It's unneccesary.

Larry, your second graph was obviously facetious ... or at least I hope it was. Point being, it hinders the credibility of your first graph which I think was dead-on.

Virtual, I think that Spitzer would have to screw up REALLY bad to reach the lows of Pataki. He's screwed up, for sure. But he's nowhere near as low as Pataki's lows.

Pirate's Code said...

It's sad that Pataki-Spitzer comparisons are simply a race to the bottom. To be fair, it Pataki a while before he bottomed out. Steamroller seems to be getting there in record time.

On the issue, and in reponse to Pink's question, it seems safe to assume that this move will only strengthen Homeland Security's position that passports are the only way to go for any and all border crossings.

I have mine, but I may need a second mortgage to get passports for the rest of the family.

Pirate's Code said...

Oops. Meant to type " TOOK Pataki a while..."

Brain to fingers connection not working...

clemenza said...

What particulary bothers me is that such an important decision could be made via fiat from Spitzer with his Executive Order. No legislative input. No public hearings. That's a bad way to make policy.

cg466 said...

larry S

you are an ignorant jerk!!!

Hey pedro I guess Larry hit a nerve right? So you support Illegal
latinos? I dont. Its just Adolphs way to get more people on the voting role. The way I see it Larry hit it out of the park. You missed the bunt sighn.