Bill de Blasio Pushes for ‘Driver’s Licenses for All’

Immigrants and community leaders in New York City protest on April 13, 2004, against a state policy that denies driver's licenses to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. The protest followed a crackdown on individuals without Social Security numbers. (Getty Images/Stephen Chernin)
Getty Images/Stephen Chernin

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling for New Yorkers to support a measure that would allow illegal immigrants to acquire a driver’s license, making the desperate plea in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Democrat-led New York State House passed a bill– dubbed the “Green Light” bill– which would allow illegal immigrants in the state to acquire a driver’s license. It passed with overwhelming support– 86 to 47. The bill is expected to struggle in the state Senate, with many concerned over the potential for abuse. Voter fraud is among those concerns.

“There are certain safety concerns that have been raised by law enforcement agencies about how an ID can be used,” New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said, according to the New York Post.

If the bill reaches his desk, Gov. Cuomo will sign it into law. Granting driver’s licenses to illegals is “more beneficial to communities outside the City of New York,” he argues.

“There are clear economic gains for the state of New York, there are great revenues coming to our rural communities,” he said, according to the  Post.

Democrat presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is emphatically supporting the measure.

“You know, when I’m in New York City traffic, I’m not thinking about whether someone is documented or documented. I’m thinking about whether someone drives safely,” he said in a video posted to Twitter Thursday.

“The best way to make sure that people drive safe is if they have a driver’s license. They go through the test like everyone else. I believe in driver’s licenses for all,” he continued.

“I believe that all New Yorkers, regardless of documentation status, need to be able to get a license the right way,” he added.

It is about more than “fairness” alone, he argued. He believes the measure would better ensure safety for New Yorkers and their families. 

“Right now what is happening just isn’t safe,” he said. “We have a chance to fix that in Albany. I ask everyone to weigh in. Driver’s licenses for all. It’s fair. It’s smart. It’s safe.”

The bill would make roughly 265,000 new people eligible to obtain licenses across the state.


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