September 28, 2007

McNulty, Jagow Oppose Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

Two Join to voice outrage, announce legislation preventing implementation of Governor Spitzer's edict.

Today, 9th District Niagara County Legislator Andrea McNulty will join Niagara County Clerk Wayne Jagow at the North Tonawanda branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles to express their outrage at Governor Eliot Spitzer's latest proposal to grant drivers licenses to undocumented, illegal immigrants.

Legislator McNulty has introduced a resolution that would prevent the Niagara County Department of Motor Vehicle offices, operated by the Niagara County Clerk, from processing New York State Drivers License applications from illegal immigrants.

McNulty said "Governor Spitzer's new policy granting New York State Drivers licenses to illegal immigrants is irresponsible and dangerous. In a time when we as elected officials at the local, county, state and federal level are working towards cooperative solutions to secure our border, it is disappointing for Governor Spitzer to stand in the way of our efforts."

"The New York State Drivers License is the most universal form of identification and our citizens depend on it for every day identification needs such as banking transactions, age verification and travel needs. Undermining the credibility of this document by granting it to illegal immigrants would weaken public safety and put our citizens in harms way, the new policy is also in violation of both New York State and Federal Law" said McNulty.

County Clerk Wayne Jagow went on to say "The Federal Government has recognized the importance of the security of driver's licenses. That is why Congress has passed the REAL ID Act, which would require social security number background checks of people applying for driver's licenses. After Governor Spitzer's action, not only will his administration be in violation of our own state law, it will also be in noncompliance with the Federal Law Real ID Act. I do not feel comfortable processing applications from illegal immigrants in Niagara County offices; I support Legislator McNulty's resolution."

County Clerk Jagow estimates that there are nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants in Niagara County that would be eligible for driver's licenses under Spitzer's proposal. That figure is based on State DMV estimates.

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