New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is preparing to announce a new policy that will enable illegal aliens to obtain a driver’s license.
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles no longer will require applicants to provide Social Security numbers or proof they’re eligible for Social Security cards, the New York Post and New York Sun reported.
Under the new rules, valid foreign passports, previous state driver’s licenses and other verifiable proofs of ID will be considered on a point-based system, according to a source who spoke to the Post.
“The DMV does not believe it’s in the business checking a person’s legal status; it’s not the INS,” the source said.
The Sun said county clerks around the state came to Albany yesterday to discuss the new policy with DMV officials, according to a source.
Spitzer said last year during the gubernatorial campaign he would allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses, because banning them would make life worse for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers without adding to security.
Restricting access to licenses drives illegals “into the shadows, creating a class of people with no public records,” said Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson in October.
After the 9/11 attacks, then-Gov. George Pataki issued an executive order requiring driver’s-license applicants to show a Social Security number to prove their residency status, the Post noted.
Opponents of lifting restrictions point out the 9/11 hijackers had at least 35 licenses, enabling them to open bank accounts and rent cars.
Congress reacted in 2005 with the Real ID Act, which requires states to adopt national standards for driver’s licenses by the end of 2009.
Spitzer’s plan, according to the Post, requires no legislative approval. It will be phased in in three stages, beginning in December.
The Post said the change would cost the state $1.5 million in the initial stage, according to the source. The cost is expected to be offset by fees.
New York is one of more than 30 states to verify the Social Security numbers of driver’s license applicants, according to the Sun.
As WND reported in 2005, North Carolina’s weak requirements to obtain a driver’s license has drawn busloads of illegal immigrants from the region.