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Illegal Immigration

Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Aliens Compromise Homeland Security


Washington DC — In testimony submitted to the Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs and the Standing Committee on Transportation, Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), urges legislators to reject Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s proposal to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Stein charges that the governor’s political pandering to vocal interest groups and cheap labor employers would endanger the security of all Americans, while adding to the already significant burden that New Yorkers bear as a result of mass illegal immigration.

FAIR, the nation’s leading immigration reform organization, represents some 12,000 members across New York State. Gov. Spitzer’s plan, according to polls, is strongly opposed by a large majority of New Yorkers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and by county many county clerks who run local DMV offices.

“No Americans have suffered more and paid a greater price than the people of New York for lax attention to homeland security,” says Stein. “All but one of the 9/11 terrorists who killed thousands of Americans the majority on the southern tip of Manhattan boarded flights without drawing unwelcome attention using valid U.S. driver’s licenses. Investigators, including the 9/11 Commission, have all concluded that obtaining valid driver’s licenses was critical to the terrorists’ ability to carry out their mission. If Gov. Spitzer’s plan is implemented, future terrorists in need of a valid U.S. identity document will be able to get one simply by proving that they can parallel park.”

Stein dismisses Gov. Spitzer’s contention that giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses is necessary to ensure road safety in New York. “Gov. Spitzer’s rationalization is essentially the same one President Bush used in seeking amnesty for illegal aliens,” says Stein. “Rather than enforce laws against illegal immigrants, President Bush argued that we must give-in to them and grant them legal status. Similarly, rather than enforce laws that New York uses punish other people for driving without licenses or without auto insurance, Gov. Spitzer is seeking to reward illegal alien scofflaws with the privilege of driving and a U.S. identity document. The American public rejected the idea of amnesty for illegal aliens, and New Yorkers firmly reject the notion of licenses for people who have no right to be in the country.”

Issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens is likely to serve as a magnet for illegal aliens, warns FAIR. According to a 2006 report by FAIR, The Costs of Illegal Immigrants to New Yorkers, the state spends $5.1 billion annually to provide education and health care to illegal aliens, and to incarcerate criminal illegal aliens. “We have seen evidence of illegal aliens leaving states that have elected to enforce laws against illegal immigration in recent years,” observes Stein. “If New York begins issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, we are likely to see the reverse phenomenon as illegal aliens flock to New York. Greater risk to security and even heavier burdens on taxpayers is not most New Yorkers’ idea of sound public policy.”

Source: FAIR Testimony to the New York State Senate


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