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Dinolfo Introduces Legislation To Bring Suit Blocking Drivers License For Illegal Immigrants

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo officially introduced legislation to the County Legislature seeking authorization to bring a lawsuit against the State of New York to challenge the new law that allows drivers’ licenses to be issued to illegal immigrants. Specifically, the County’s suit will assert, among other claims, that the new State law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution by putting citizens and non-citizens on unequal footing under the rule of law.

“I was County Clerk when giving drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants was first proposed in 2007. That’s why I sued Governor Spitzer to help stop the process dead in its tracks,” said Dinolfo. “This year, Clerk Bello has indicated he won’t stand up to Governor Cuomo and will, in fact, be issuing drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants. That is unacceptable. With the support of our County Legislature, I will bring a new lawsuit against the State to try to block this unfair law before a single license is given to an illegal immigrant in Monroe County.”

If approved by the County Legislature, the legislation will authorize Dinolfo, in her capacity as County Executive, to file the lawsuit against the State. Under the County Charter, the Monroe County Clerk is empowered to bring such a lawsuit, given the subject matter is germane to the statutory operation of the Clerk’s office. Several Upstate County Clerks, both Democrat and Republican, have indicated they intend to exercise their authority to bring a lawsuit against the State to challenge the new law. However, Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello has indicated he will issue drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

“Our Republican County Legislators have heard this community’s concerns loud and clear – Monroe County residents do not support giving drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants,” said Monroe County Legislature Majority Leader Brian Marianetti. “On behalf of all 17 members of our Majority Caucus, I thank County Executive Dinolfo for again taking the lead on behalf of our residents. We look forward to voting for this legislation.”

The legislation will be considered at the upcoming June 26 meeting of the Ways & Means Committee. If advanced through Committee, the matter will be placed on the agenda of the July 9 meeting of the full Monroe County Legislature.