Last month, New York state made it possible for illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses by passing the heavily debated “Green Light bill.” Now, county clerks from upstate New York are suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), saying the law pits them against the federal government.
"If we foul the law and issue a license — which I'm not going to do — we violate federal law," Erie Country Clerk Mickey Kearns told Spectrum News. "Because we are harboring illegal aliens by giving them a driver's license."
Kearns has been against the law since it was proposed. In an interview with WKBW, the county clerk expressed his stance against the new law.
“It is illegal to hire anyone who is here illegally,” Kearns told the outlet in June. “That’s the federal law of the land. So when they talk about people needing a driver’s license to get to work, if you’re here illegally, you shouldn’t be hiring these people ‘cause they’re violating federal law.”
Previously, Gov. Cuomo indicated he would veto the bill but signed it despite his concerns. He was reportedly not surprised by the lawsuit.
"Every locality will come up with a different interpretation, I believe, because this is now a political issue," the governor said.
The bigger issue for the governor was that the FBI and ICE would use the database to help them in deporting illegals which he wouldn’t have to worry about if he didn’t sign the bill.
.@NYGovCuomo says he believes there will be a lawsuit because ICE and FBI may try to access New York State database of undocumented immigrants who will receive driver’s licenses.— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) July 9, 2019
The #GreenLightNY bill granting those licenses passed in Albany the final week of session.
New York is now the 13th state to ignore federal law by allowing non-citizens to have driver’s licenses. They now join states such as Illinois, California, and Washington, D.C.
New York is now the 13th state to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses.— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 18, 2019
The legislation was signed into law Monday, just hours after Gov. Cuomo indicated he may veto the bill. https://t.co/vDOLZpn3qI. #NY1Politics pic.twitter.com/XjjFfhC6RI