A legal challenge against New York State’s “Green Light Law” has been been dismissed by a judge, which will in effect allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the Empire State.
As noted in Fox News, Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola’s legal efforts were shot down as a judge determined that Merola lacked standing because he could not reasonably lay claim to “cognizable injury.” The judge emphasized that his ruling was not related to the legality or illegality of the law itself, but was, instead, a procedural decision, acknowledging: “To the dissatisfaction of the parties and public-at-large, courts are at times unable to pass upon the merits of a case for one reason or another.”
Merola’s defeat follows a similar dismissal against Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns in November, who argues the law championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo is both dangerous and in violation of federal law.
As the 13th state to provide illegal immigrants with access to driver’s licenses, New York now joins with California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Illinois, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington in carrying out the controversial policy. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico likewise do so within their territories, according to City and State.
“You do not need a Social Security card to apply for a license or permit,” reads a portion of New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles webpage. However, applicants do need to provide documentation that proves the individual’s name, date of birth, and state residency. Among the combination of documents accepted by New York include: a foreign birth certificate, a border crossing card, and even an expired foreign driver’s license–so long as it has not been expired for two years or more.
Despite the multiple legal challenges, Democrats in the state, such as State Sen. Luis Sepúlveda, are hailing the new policy as a political, economic, and humanitarian victory. “This is a major step forward for all New Yorkers as we keep building New York to live up to its full potential of equity, opportunity and justice,” Sepúlveda declared. “We also look forward to the significant economic and safety benefits the law will bring to communities across our state.”
Written by Red Blue Divide editorial staff