New York will become the 13th state to authorize driver’s licenses for immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.
The state Senate approved the proposal Monday following Assembly passage last week. Democrats lead both chambers.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s support appeared in doubt Monday after he voiced concerns that U.S. immigration officials could use state license information to target immigrants for deportation. He asked for a legal review by the office of Attorney General Letitia James, who responded saying she supports the bill but wouldn’t speculate on the federal response.
Cuomo’s office then announced he would sign the bill.
Supporters include the state Business Council and immigrant advocates who say licenses would help immigrants get to work and complete everyday tasks.
Republican lawmakers said people shouldn’t be rewarded for violating immigration rules.
City Council Minority Whip Joseph Borelli, a Republican, told Daily Signal, “This is the latest in another attempt to blur the line between legal and illegal and the rule of law versus open borders. I’m sure Albany is not going to be shocked that [in] the liberal City Council, many City Council members are in support of this, and I don’t think it’s going to tip the scale either way.”
Currently, 12 other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. These include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.