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NY County Clerks Say No Driver’s Licenses For Illegals

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NY County Clerks Say No Driver’s Licenses For Illegals

NY County Clerks Say No Driver’s Licenses For Illegals
November 25
18:03 2019

In the wake of the passage of a New York bill granting undocumented residents the ability to apply for a driver’s license, county clerks are speaking out against the patent violation of constitutional law. Hard partisan lines are being drawn between liberal states-rightists and conservative federalists.

On June 17, 2019, Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act” which claims “to provide for the licensure of drivers in order to enhance public safety.” The bill is “An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the issuance of non-commercial drivers’ licenses and learners’ permits; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating to driver’s license applications.”

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The so-called Green Light Bill passed the New York Senate after only a few more hours and was passed quickly by the state assembly.

The problem with the New York law is that it contradicts federal immigration laws. When an undocumented resident is identified by a legal authority, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is tasked with detaining the lawbreaker pending legitimate application for asylum to remain within national borders.

Officials who do the work of processing driver’s license applications have sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and are fighting back against the new state mandate which is slated to go into effect on December 14, 2019.

Clerks in the Empire State’s Rensselaer, Niagara, Chautauqua, and Allegany Counties have refused publicly to obey the state law, thereby breaking federal statutes.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola said:

“I go back to the Constitution. You’re not supposed to help or aid anybody if they’re here illegally, especially if we know that.”

Any undocumented person who tries to get a driver’s license in Allegany County might wind up with an ICE escort to a detention center. Clerk Robert L. Christman said he would do his job to help law enforcement:

“If you come into my facility and you have done something illegal, it is my obligation to report you to the appropriate authorities, whether you’re a citizen or not.”

Erie County Clerk Michael “Mickey” Kearns reacted quickly after the Green Light Bill passed last June. He wrote a letter to Erie County Attorney Michael Siragusa asking for his representation in a dissenting lawsuit that Kearns filed as a legal challenge in U.S. District Court:

“After a review of this Act, I am convinced that it is inconsistent with federal law.”

Kearns was plain about how his opposition to the unconstitutional directive:

“As I understand it, this Act requires that, as an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, I will be compelled to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

“I will not be granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.”

Kearns and other New York licensing clerks feel they risk being named in future lawsuits:

“More important, however, complying with the Act puts me and other County Clerks in the untenable position of having to decide whether or not to uphold federal law or the newly enacted state law. I anticipate being sued in either event.”

On November 8, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford in the Court’s Western District of New York decided against Kearns case because the county employee had failed to demonstrate legal standing – being the right person to bring the claim – either as a private citizen or in his official capacity as Clerk.

The judge also found that “Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden to plausibly allege that he has suffered or will imminently suffer ‘a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable’ to the implementation of the Green Light Law.”

In plain English, Judge Wolford said Kearns wasn’t the proper party to challenge the bill’s legitimacy, despite his strenuous disagreement with it, “because he has failed to establish an injury that is recognized under the law.”

Undaunted, Kearns filed a notice of appeal on November 13 with the second circuit, saying that the “high standard” “would have to reverse the Western District circuit [decision.]”

Meanwhile, Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus appealed directly to the President in a letter he wrote on June 20:

“I ask that you direct the Justice Department to commence an immediate review of the legislation and render an opinion regarding whether this legislation should be review in federal court.”

Backus co-chairs the legislative committee for the state Association of County Clerks. In 50 New York counties, county clerks run the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). According to Backus, they are all worried not only about being charged with fraud if they issue federally-protected licenses to illegals but how they will handle mountains of paperwork from other countries:

“Our employees are not trained in interpreting foreign documents. “We’re not immigration agents, we don’t have translators on staff to go over these documents. None of that was talked about in this legislation.”

Another threat disobedient clerks face is that, as governor, Cuomo has the power to remove them from office or suspend DMV responsibilities – and revenues – from their counties.

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Lightworker111

Lightworker111

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1 Comment

  1. J willi
    J willi November 27, 06:46

    Put a crooked politician in office and you get crooked politics. Put crooked politicians in power and you get a crooked government. A crooked government leads to socialism.

    Reply to this comment
  2. PalomarJack
    PalomarJack December 01, 17:45

    This is very commendable, but I fear it’s too little, too late.

    Reply to this comment

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