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County Clerk Dinolfo Sues State DMV To Stop Licenses For Illegal Immigrants

Fri, Nov 02 2007

Rochester -- Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo today filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to stop its plan to issue Driver's Licenses to illegal immigrants. Building upon Dinolfo's previous efforts, the lawsuit asks the State Supreme Court to rule that the State DMV is violating Section 502 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law that requires a Social Security Number to obtain a driver's license.
"Illegal immigrants with driver's licenses will threaten our public safety, increase our welfare burden and provide amnesty for those breaking the law in New York State," said Dinolfo. "I have taken every other avenue to make my case to the State and they have refused to do what is right. Therefore, I am forced to sue to protect our taxpayers and families."
Dinolfo called the most recent changes in the State's plan "window dressing" since illegal immigrants would still receive a license identical to the majority of New Yorkers, who are citizens.
"No matter how the State keeps changing their spin on this misguided plan, the bottom line is illegal immigrants will still have a license that looks exactly like mine and the vast majority of New Yorkers. They will be able to use this license to apply for welfare benefits, register to vote or, according to the DMV's own Commissioner Dave Swarts, buy a gun," said Dinolfo.
DMV Commissioner Swarts stated in testimony before the State Senate on Wednesday that he believed illegal immigrants could use their driver's license to purchase a gun. Also, State officials have admitted there are no checks in place to prevent the use of a driver's license number by an illegal immigrant to register to vote. In addition, a driver's license is used as proof of residency when applying for welfare benefits.
"The State DMV should recognize what is obvious to almost everyone else in our community. Giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants is a bad idea. No agency of our State Government should put our families -- their tax dollars or their safety -- at risk. I hope this lawsuit, and others like it, will finally cause the State DMV to reverse its decision. Otherwise, I'm sure the courts will rule in our favor and do it for them," said Dinolfo.