HOUSTON, Texas–Breitbart Texas reported on a proposed bill in New York that would allow more than 2 million illegal immigrants to get a myriad of benefits including voting rights, the ability to run for office, Medicaid, drivers licenses, and in-state tuition by allowing them to become “state citizens.” A sponsor of that bill, State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), told Breitbart Texas he thinks states in the Southwest should consider similar legislation to deal with the border crisis involving thousands of Central Americans entering the country illegally.
The bill was crafted “so that it can be replicated in other states,” Rivera said. “If immigration reform doesn’t happen at the national level, the states can take action.”
If Rivera’s legislation were passed in New York, an estimated 2.7 million people, all of whom are not citizens of the United States, would become “state citizens.” In order to qualify, an individual would need to have no criminal history and prove they have lived in New York for three years.
In order to introduce the bill, Rivera released a press release called, “Bold New Campaign Demands Full Equality for Non-Citizens.” It said, “The legislative package goes further than what any other state in the country has done to enable full and equal participation of immigrants…other states will be encouraged to adopt [the bill].”
Rivera acknowledged that the legislation is not likely to pass this year. He said that ultimately, he hopes it sparks and national conversation.
“We [want to] pass it in New York eventually, but we knew this wasn’t going to pass this year” the state senator said. “The point today will be to start having the conversation and hopefully it will reframe the debate about what states can do for residents who have been living there.”
In Rivera’s view, the states owe something to the people living there, even those who are undocumented. He said, “What responsibility does the state have to the people who live in the state? What are we constitutionally able to do? Let’s figure out the things that the states have the authority to grant access to.”
Although the newly-crafted New York bill would not apply to the Central American migrants currently flooding the border, it could certainly add to the perception that U.S. officials are granting amnesty to those in the country illegally.
Hundreds of illegal immigrants are being set free on U.S. soil each week and lawyers claim that most of the new migrants will be allowed to permanently stay in the country. Additionally, the new migrants are currently receiving taxpayer subsidized shelter, transportation, meals, education, and even legal counsel. Reports and word-of-mouth spreading this news has allegedly prompted more hopeful immigrants to cross the border illegally.
While Rivera may have good intentions, many believe that allowing some illegal immigrants to become “state citizens” will only further provide incentives for foreigners to unlawfully enter the U.S.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.