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Legislature Authorizes Dinolfo To Sue State To Stop Drivers Licenses For Illegal Immigrants

The Monroe County Legislature passed legislation authorizing County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo to bring a lawsuit against the State of New York to challenge the new “Green Light Law”, which allows drivers’ licenses to be issued to illegal immigrants. Specifically, the County’s pending 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 law.

“I thank the County Legislators who voted to defend fundamental fairness and the rule of law by authorizing our lawsuit against the State,” said Dinolfo. “Our goal is simple: to challenge and stop Albany from implementing this policy that would put state law at odds with federal law by giving licenses to those who are here illegally. I’m especially proud to be among a group of county officials, both Democrat and Republican, who are standing tall against Albany on behalf of our residents, who have made their opposition to this law heard loud and clear.”

Through a 17 – 10 vote, the Legislature has authorized 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. This week, County Clerk Mickey Kearns, a Democrat, filed such a suit on behalf of the residents of Erie County. However, locally, Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello has indicated he intends to issue drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

With official authorization now in place, Dinolfo has directed the Monroe County Law Department to file the legal complaint as soon as possible.

The lawsuit will have no net cost to taxpayers.