NY becomes 13th state to allow driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Monday night that will allow immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses, making New York the 13th state to do so.

The state Senate approved the "Green Light Bill" with a 33-29 vote. It passed the Assembly last week.

MORE: NY Senate passes bill allowing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants

The new law is a victory for immigrant advocates, many of whom are based on Long Island. Patrick Young, of the New York Immigration Coalition, says allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses makes the roads safer for everyone, since they'll be insured and have registered vehicles.

But Republicans say the passage proves that the Democratic-controlled state Legislature is simply out of touch with everyday Long Islanders. Nassau Republican Party Chairman Joe Cairo says he believes the decision is part of a broader plan by Democrats to ultimately provide citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, who also leads the state Democratic Party, warned Democratic lawmakers not to pass the bill, pointing to its unpopularity in the suburbs. And Long Island's six state Senate Democrats all voted against the measure, but it passed anyway.

Ilir Fiora, of Glen Cove, says he thinks state lawmakers are seeking to undermine President Donald Trump's policies. But others say providing licenses is a matter of safety and practicality.

Before the bill passed the Senate Monday, Cuomo expressed concern that the Trump administration may try to get access to the state's database and potentially go after those people for deportation.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for Aug. 16

    Dog Day Fridays for Aug. 16

    Friday, August 16 2019 10:50 AM EDT2019-08-16 14:50:30 GMT
    Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!
    Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!Faith is a sweet, 6-year-old Terrier mix with a lot of love to give. Faith is very affectionate when she bonds with her human friends. Faith loves to curl up next to you and even sit in your lap for love!
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bobbi and the Strays. The shelter is located at 2 Rider Place in Freeport. Their phone number is (516) 378-4340.
  • Memories of Woodstock on its 50th anniversary

    Memories of Woodstock on its 50th anniversary

    Thursday, August 15 2019 2:10 PM EDT2019-08-15 18:10:36 GMT
    The three-day festival of love and music featured some of the biggest musical names from the summer of love, including Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and The Who.
    The three-day festival of love and music featured some of the biggest musical names from the summer of love, including Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and The Who.
  • Guide: Thrilling roller coasters in the tri-state area

    Guide: Thrilling roller coasters in the tri-state area

    THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.
    THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.THE JOKER is located at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ.

    Looking for some excitement this summer? Check out some of these thrilling and extreme roller coasters, all located in the tri-state area.

    Looking for some excitement this summer? Check out some of these thrilling and extreme roller coasters, all located in the tri-state area.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."