Governor Cuomo signed Green Light Legislation into law, giving illegal immigrants the ability to get a New York State Driver’s License. Herkimer County Clerk Sylvia Rowan tells us there’s a problem with the documentation illegals will need to get a license.
"The State requires us to get either a copy of your certified copy of your birth certificate or use the original one, your social security card, which going back, these undocumented will not have social security numbers. Then you have to have proof of residency, at least 2."
Another problem with the Green Light Law has nothing to do with driving, but it does raise concerns over elections. Herkimer County Clerk Sylvia Rowan explains.
"The very first question on this application will ask if they’re citizens, and if they check that- that they’re citizens, they’re entitled to vote. We’re not going to be able to… we’re not police officers here at the counter. These are Motor Vehicle License Clerks."
Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno talked about what happens if an illegal immigrant decides to register as a legal voter?
"Now they’re telling us that this information is going to go to of course, it goes right to the Board of Elections, and it’s up to them to determine if someone….how are they going to determine if somebody’s here legally or illegally? They’re not going to know either."
Some County Clerks are talking about filing a lawsuit against the State, saying it’s against Federal law to issue the license to an undocumented immigrant, and others like Sylvia Rowan may take action on their own.
"They’re asking me to do the impossible. So my stand on it right as today is that I am not going to issue these licenses at my counter."
Sandra DePerno says any action may come at a cost.
"From what I was told yesterday (Tuesday), the Governor has the power to pull us out of office, and if there’s a few of them who flat out refuse, they may be looking at possibly being pulled out of office, and not getting their pension."
The current President of the County Clerks Association sent out a correspondence on Tuesday, requesting a meeting with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The hope is to sort out all the problems before the the law takes effect. The Green Light Law goes into effect at the end of December.