Argues that it places burden on DMV staff
By Holly Crocco
The Putnam County Legislature approved a resolution on Tuesday (Aug. 6) asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to repeal a newly enacted state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, known commonly as the Green Light Bill, was enacted on June 17. Twelve other states have similar laws.
The resolution passed by a 6-1 vote, with Nancy Montgomery (D-Philipstown) voting “no.” Two lawmakers were absent.
County Clerk Michael Bartolotti, who oversees the Department of Motor Vehicles in Putnam, earlier expressed concern to the Legislature that the agency would be issuing licenses without requiring evidence of lawful presence in the U.S. or a Social Security number. He also worried that undocumented immigrants may erroneously be placed on voter registration rolls.
Legislator Carl Albano (R-Carmel) said he is in favor of non-citizens obtaining a driver’s license, if it is “done correctly.”
“You should be documented,” he said. “We should know where you live, we should know your background. We need to have some indication of who we’re dealing with when we give out licenses.”
Legislator Paul Jonke (R-Southeast) said he is concerned that the law will increase voter fraud, and Toni Addonizio (R-Kent) alleged the bill was “pushed through” the state Assembly and Senate.
“There needs to be more information,” she added. “Polling has shown that most New York State residents oppose this law.” A Siena College poll released Aug. 6 of registered voters found that 53 percent opposed the law; it found far greater support among Democrats than Republicans and independents.