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Releases on Green Light bill from Jordan, Smart Growth Coalition, Metzger, Teamsters, FWD, Serino, Biaggi, Senate Democrats, Diaz Jr., Seward, Partnership for NYC, Cuomo counsel David, Tish James, Tedisco.
Text of releases.

For Release: Monday, June 17, 2019
Contact: Josh Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-2381,

Statement from NYS Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I,Ref-Halfmoon)

“Today, the Senate Democratic Majority rammed through their so-called Green Light Bill, Senate Bill S.1747B, which gives driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. I voted no on this measure because their Green Light Bill gives a green light to fraud, danger and illegal immigrants voting – a privilege reserved for American citizens – resulting in our Empire State becoming the ‘Sanctuary State.’ One of the major issues with the measure is that of identity. These IDs, once provided in the form of driver’s licenses, will be used by individuals whose true identity is unknown, for voting, free college and so many other benefits paid for by hard-working, law-abiding taxpayers. This bill does nothing to incentivize individuals who are here illegally in violation of federal law to follow the law and go through the proper process so they can become citizens of the greatest nation in the world. Sadly, today was just the latest example of how the Senate Democratic Majority continues to advance their extreme, radical agenda and disregard the will of the people and the rule of law.”

Dear Friend:

The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers oppose issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. And yet, that’s exactly what Senate Democrats did.

With the passage of their so-called “Green Light Bill,” illegal immigrants will now be able to apply for standard driver's licenses. This legislation is a slap in the face to law-abiding New Yorkers, as well as to new Americans that have taken the appropriate steps to become citizens legally.

Just like their new law giving free taxpayer-funded college tuition assistance to illegal immigrants, providing driver’s licenses to those here illegally creates a strong disincentive for anyone to ever follow our nation’s immigration laws. It also leaves hardworking New Yorkers like you footing the bill.

Democrats have chosen to reward those who break the law by giving “undocumented” aliens a key document: Now illegal immigrants can apply for standard driver’s licenses using foreign identification, making it nearly impossible for County Clerks and employees at local Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) to verify authenticity. Another major concern is that many states, including New York, use their DMVs to enroll voters. Since New York does NOT have voter identification laws like the majority of other states do, this bill increases the potential for voter fraud.

The vast majority of other states throughout the nation do NOT issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and those that do demand substantially tighter proof of identification. Some also impose requirements designed to encourage immigrants to pursue full, legal citizenship. In contrast, the “Green Light” proposal includes no such restrictions or requirements. This means that New York will soon have the most radical, open-ended such law in the entire nation.

For these reasons, I adamantly opposed this so-called “Green Light Bill” and voted against it. Going forward, I will continue the uphill battle to restore common sense to our state government, and against flawed measures like this one that actually gives people an incentive to break the law.

Daphne Jordan
State Senator, 43rd District


June 18, 2019
Contact: Will Brunelle,
ALBANY, NY – On behalf of the New York Smart Growth Coalition, spokesperson Will Brunelle released the following statement today, applauding Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, or “Green Light NY” bill into law:

“The Green Light NY bill being signed into law was an incredible victory for all New Yorkers - including the 265,000 undocumented New Yorkers who will directly benefit from this legislation and our New York businesses and economy. We thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for immediately signing this critical legislation into law and all those who supported us in the Senate and Assembly, including our champions - Senator Luis Sepulveda, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly sponsor Marcos Crespo.

We are proud to be among those who fought for this life-changing legislation and thank all of the Green Light NY bill advocates for their tireless work on behalf of all New Yorkers and our state’s undocumented immigrants.

Immigration, and the Green Light NY bill, are business issues. Signing this legislation into law is a crucial step forward as New York employers look to fill key roles in a variety of industries across the state. This bill not only ensures that all New Yorkers - regardless of immigration status - achieve full economic mobility, but also that our statewide economy can continue to grow and that our residents become safer.”


June 18, 2019

Leslie Berliant | (607) 386-1590 |

Senate Passes Bill to Expand Eligibility for Driver's Licenses

Albany, NY...Yesterday, the State Senate passed the "Green Light" bill, ensuring that all drivers on New York roads are able to apply for a New York State driver’s license. The legislation, which passed the Assembly last week, will allow the state to issue driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status, including to seasonal farm workers. It also ensures the privacy of information supplied to county clerks’ offices.

“As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have heard from agricultural organizations and individual farmers from across the state about the importance of this bill for providing farm workers in New York the opportunity to drive themselves to work, to the store, to the doctor, or simply take their kids to school,” explained Senator Jen Metzger. “It is also common sense that proper licensing, testing and insurance for all drivers in our state will make our roads safer and bring down insurance costs for everyone, while generating revenue for counties through application fees.”

The legislation applies only to non-commercial licenses and learning permits, and is supported by agricultural organizations, such as the New York Vegetable Growers Association the Northeast Organic Farming Association. The legislation is also supported by the Business Council of New York State, New York’s largest business association, which argues that the legislation will support local businesses and billions of dollars in economic activity.

We recognize the overall benefits that Green Light provides to farm workers in improving their quality of life while working in New York State,” said Rick Zimmerman of the New York State Vegetable Growers Association. “We also appreciate the strong confidentiality provisions to ensure that information collected from registering for a driver’s license will not be used to target seasonal workers.”

“Farms are located in rural areas, and without driver's licenses or access to cars, farm workers are often left isolated and dependent on their employers for transportation,” explained a fourth-generation farmer in the Black Dirt region of Orange County. “Green Light will give farm workers more flexibility and freedom, and help farmers who often dedicate considerable time to transporting employees to stores, banks, and doctors' appointments. I greatly appreciate Senator Metzger’s support for this legislation.”

Statewide, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that this legislation will result in $83.9 million in government revenues over the first three years and $6.4 million in recurring revenue thereafter. In Connecticut, where a similar policy was implemented four years ago, there have been almost 4,000 fewer unlicensed driving convictions and hit-and-run crashes have dropped 9% between 2016 and 2018.

Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.


For Immediate Release – June 12, 2019
Contact: Alex Moore, 718-289-0204,

Teamsters Applaud Assembly Vote on Drivers Licenses for Immigrants

NEW YORK, NY – George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, had the following statement on the New York State Assembly's vote in favor of the "Green Light" bill, which will reopen access to driver's licenses to all New Yorkers. Joint Council 16 represents 120,000 workers in and around New York City.

"The New York Teamsters applaud the State Assembly for taking action on this social and economic justice legislation. It shouldn't be a crime to take your child to school, or drive to the hospital, or provide for your family. In much of New York State, you need a car to do the basics of life, and this legislation will ensure that all residents can access driver's licenses, regardless of immigration status. This is a union issue and will open opportunities for our members.

"I urge the Senate to pass and the Governor to sign this bill into law. We are proud to be a sanctuary union and give our full support to expanding the rights of our most vulnerable residents."


June 17, 2019
Contact: Karely Hernández, Statement On Signing Of Green Light NY Bill Into Law

ALBANY, NY – New York State Immigration Manager Eddie A. Taveras released the following statement today after Governor Cuomo signed the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, or “Green Light NY” bill into law:

“This is a huge victory. Today’s bill signing will dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and we thank Governor Cuomo for fulfilling his commitment to all New Yorkers by signing this bill expeditiously. We are extremely grateful to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Luis Sepulveda, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Assembly sponsor Marcos Crespo, the State Senate and Assembly, and Green Light NY bill advocates, for fighting tirelessly on behalf of immigrant families across the state. Thanks to arduous advocacy, an estimated 265,000 undocumented New Yorkers will now be able to take driver’s education courses, pass a road test, and earn a license. This is life-changing, and we are proud to stand on the right side of history because every New Yorker should have the opportunity to contribute to their economies and communities without fearing that they will be separated from their family because of a routine traffic stop.”

About is a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when more individuals are able to achieve their full potential. For too long, our broken immigration and criminal justice systems have locked too many people out of the American dream. Founded by leaders in the technology and business communities, we seek to grow and galvanize political support to break through partisan gridlock and achieve meaningful reforms. Together, we can move America forward.


For Immediate Release
June 17, 2019
Kara Cumoletti;; 518-455-2945 (SERINO)


ALBANY, NY—New York State Senator Sue Serino today released the following statement regarding the passage of the Green Light Bill (S. 1747-B):

“As the daughter of an immigrant, this is an issue I am incredibly sensitive to and I have listened carefully to New Yorkers on both sides of the debate. Supporters of this legislation argue that it is about increasing road safety. However, the County Clerks charged with administering these licenses have made it clear to me that they do not have the resources necessary to effectively verify identities using foreign documents as they would be required to do under this legislation. That should give every New Yorker pause. The system being created under this legislation is ripe for abuse and may inadvertently leave New Yorkers vulnerable to serious security and public safety threats.

I know that there are many in our country today yearning for a way to become a legal citizen, to participate in our processes without fear and to continue to give back to our communities, and I have a great deal of respect for their experiences.

However, as we have seen with nearly every piece of legislation advanced by Albany’s new leaders, this bill is extreme in every way, goes beyond anything any other state is doing on this issue, and puts the rights of lawbreakers ahead of law-abiding citizens. If there is a problem with our immigration policy, we should be advocating for comprehensive change at the federal level, not further incentivizing illegal activity here in our state at the expense of our own legal residents. It is not right, and I would urge the Governor to follow through and veto this bill.”


Monday, June 17th 2019
Press Contact:


ALBANY, NY – Today the New York State Senate passed the Driver’s Licenses Access and Privacy Act, also known as the Green Light bill, in a major victory for immigrants and advocates statewide. Co-sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, the bill will expand access to driver’s licenses for undocumented New Yorkers.

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:

“Today’s passage of the Green Light bill is not only important to the protection and empowerment of immigrant New Yorkers – it is necessary for increasing public safety on our roads and growing our economy. This bill is not about immigration. This bill is about expanding access to driver’s licenses to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, to ensure that all drivers on the road are safely and properly licensed. The anti-immigrant sentiment we’ve endured under this federal administration will not be validated by the New York State Senate — these individuals are our neighbors, our caretakers, and our workers. Hannah Arendt’s account on the banality of evil teaches us about the normalization of human wickedness — showing us that our only effective antidote to evil is never to react in such ways as to augment it. Sometimes the law is wrong. This is one of those times. And I am proud to have supported this bill. This victory would not have been possible without the tireless work of immigrants and advocates across the state, and the dedicated leadership of Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins.”


For Immediate Release: June 17, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Heppner | | 518-455-2415

Senate Majority Passes Driver's License Access and Privacy Act
(Green Light NY)

(Albany, NY) Today, the Senate Democratic Majority passed the Driver's License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light NY), sponsored by Senator Luis Sepúlveda, that will restore the right to obtain a license, regardless of immigration status, that existed prior to 2001.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Today, we passed legislation restoring the right for all qualified drivers to obtain drivers licenses regardless of immigration status. By passing this needed legislation, we are growing our economy while at the same time making our roads safer. This is the right step forward for New York State as we continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform on the federal level.”

Bill sponsor, Senator Luis Sepúlveda, said “This legislation will not only provide undocumented immigrants with a legal solution to obtain a driver's license, but its positive impacts will include significant economic growth, improved road safety, and it will keep hardworking families together. Millions of dollars will be raised in revenue, auto insurance premiums will decrease, and local economies will see a boom as earnings and spending increase. In a time when immigrants are being scapegoated for every ill in our country, this is our opportunity for New York State to show our courage and strength, and stand up for the marginalized communities. For economic, safety, and moral reasons, our communities deserve the Green Light Bill.”

The Driver's License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light NY), S.1747B, will allow non-commercial driver's license or learner's permit applicants to be able to submit additional proofs of identity to be eligible for a non-Federal license. It also waives the social security number requirement if the applicant signs an affidavit that they have not been issued a social security number and provides the DMV with discretion to approve additional proofs of identity and age. Further, this legislation will protect the data of the applicants from unwarranted release.

This legislation provides additional government revenue, supports New York businesses and increases road safety. Statewide, the Fiscal Policy Institute estimates that this legislation will result in $83.9 million in government revenues over the first three years and $6.4 million in recurring revenue thereafter. In a statement of support, the Business Council of New York State said that this legislation is “an opportunity to increase these New Yorkers’ ability to support local employers and businesses.” In Connecticut, where a similar policy was implemented four years ago, there have been almost 4,000 fewer unlicensed driving convictions and hit-and-run crashes have dropped 9% between 2016 and 2018.

Kathryn Wylde, President/CEO of the Partnership for New York City, said, “The business community applauds Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the State Senate Majority for joining the Assembly in passing legislation that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue drivers’ licenses to all who pass the driving test, regardless of immigration status. The experience of other states has been that this policy will improve safety on our streets and highways and help ensure that drivers are both trained and insured before they take the wheel.”

Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, said, “Today’s Senate vote is one for the history books, marking a historic victory for immigrant families all across New York who have led the fight for respect and dignity for our communities. Immigrant New Yorkers have knocked on thousands doors and collected thousands of petitions on Long Island alone, held countless town halls, and traveled on a near-daily basis to Albany to advance this legislation. Green Light’s passage will bring enormous benefit to all New Yorkers, boosting our state’s economy, creating economic opportunities for immigrants, improving road safety, and keeping families together.”

Heather Briccetti, President/CEO of The Business Council of New York State, said, “We are pleased to see that State and private companies stand to benefit from increased economic activity as those who want to obtain a license and drive can do so by paying the same fees and insurance costs as all other New Yorkers. We still believe comprehensive immigration reform is a crucial federal issue that lawmakers in Washington must address.”

Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “The New York Immigration Coalition applauds Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Deputy Leader Gianaris, bill sponsor Sen. Sepulveda and the members of the Senate Democratic conference for showing what true courage and leadership looks like today by passing the Green Light NY bill. This landmark legislation will protect a quarter-million immigrant New Yorkers by restoring their ability to obtain driver's licenses, while also making our roads safer, our economies stronger, and our communities healthier for all New Yorkers. Now it's up to Gov. Cuomo to truly be the champion of New York's immigrants that he claims to be by signing the Green Light bill into law immediately.”


(718) 590-3543

June 17, 2019
RE: ‘Green Light NY’ Legislation

“The passing of legislation to allow undocumented New Yorkers the ability to obtain drivers licenses is an unqualified victory for the people of this state. Not only will this legislation help make our roads safer, it will also help integrate immigrant New Yorkers more strongly within their communities while also providing them with increased economic opportunities.

“I have supported this legislation throughout my career, first as a member of the New York State Assembly and now as borough president, and today’s vote is a validation of the more than a decade of advocacy that so many elected officials and advocates have engaged in on this important bill. I congratulate the legislation’s chief sponsors, Assembly Member Marcos Crespo and State Senator Luis Sepulveda, as well as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for delivering on their promise to treat all people of New York State equally, regardless of their immigration status.

“I strongly encourage Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation, as it would be consistent with New York State’s sanctuary status and governmental policy as demonstrated by the pardoning of undocumented immigrants, granted them access to college scholarships through the New York State Dream Act and limiting deportable offenses,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.


CONTACT: JEFF BISHOP – 518-455-3131, cell 518-225-0886


ALBANY, 06/17/19 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) today commented on his vote against S.1747 allowing illegal immigrants to receive a driver’s license:

“The thought of giving a driver’s license, a secure identification document, to someone who is already intentionally breaking the law is inconceivable. This is bad public policy that will only build on Albany’s New York City-centric agenda to aid and abet criminals and disregard individuals who do things by the book. The concerns I hear from constituents focus on jobs, tax relief, and the high cost of living. Sadly, those issues are not being addressed by the politicians in power at the Capitol.”


Statement of Support from the Partnership for New York City on the Passage of Legislation by the New York State Senate
Granting Enhanced Access to Driver’s Licenses

“The business community applauds Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the State Senate Majority for joining the Assembly in passing legislation that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue drivers’ licenses to all who pass the driving test, regardless of immigration status. The experience of other states has been that this policy will improve safety on our streets and highways and help ensure that drivers are both trained and insured before they take the wheel,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

About the Partnership for New York City:
The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest employers. We work with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to promote economic growth and maintain the city’s prominence as a global center of commerce and innovation. Through the Partnership Fund for New York City, the Partnership contributes directly to projects that create jobs, improve economically distressed communities and stimulate new business creation.


For Immediate Release: 6/17/2019


"The Solicitor General was asked to review bill number A3675-B/S1747-B to ensure that undocumented individuals who apply for driver's licenses or identification cards would not be unintentionally exposed to a Federal government seeking to use their information for deportation. In response, the Attorney General stated that she believes there are "safeguards" in the bill, and it can be defended; in other words, it cannot be weaponized to be used against undocumented individuals. The Solicitor General, a former federal prosecutor and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General, who presumably knows whether or not the relevant information can be safeguarded, has remained unresponsive on this critical issue. With that said, based on the Attorney General's representation, the Governor will sign the bill.

"Governor Cuomo has supported this policy for over a decade. The key to this bill is not the political intent but the legal effect. We hope the Attorney General's assessment is correct for the safety of the thousands of undocumented individuals who are relying on her legal opinion."


June 17, 2019

Attorney General’s Press Office/ 212-416-8060

Attorney General James’ Statement on Green Light Bill

Says Green Light Bill is Constitutional and Vows to Defend it Against Any Legal Challenge

New York—Attorney General Letitia James today issued the following statement regarding the Green Light Bill currently under consideration:

“I support the Green Light bill, and the Office of Attorney General has concluded that it is constitutional. We will not opine on any actions the federal government may or may not take.

“The legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses. If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it.”

In addition, the Office of the Attorney General released a memo regarding the Green Light Bill.


For Immediate Release: June 17, 2019
Contact: Adam D. Kramer, (518) 441-5183

Tedisco: Passage of Driver’s Licenses for Those Here Illegally Bill Sends Wrong Message that Citizenship and Rule of Law Don’t Matter in NYS
Senator Tedisco, the most outspoken opponent of this proposal since 2007, will offer his “County Clerks Protection Act” as an amendment to indemnify county clerks who choose to uphold their Constitutional oaths of office and refuse to issue driver’s licenses to those here illegally

In response to plans by the Senate Majority to bring the so-called “Green Light Bill” to give driver’s licenses to those here illegally to the Floor of the Senate for a vote today, Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville), the most outspoken opponent of this proposal since he helped defeat former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan in 2007, will be offering an amendment to protect County Clerks who refuse to issue the driver’s licenses.

During Floor debate today, Tedisco will be offering his “County Clerks Protection Act” (S.3868/A.6317) to indemnify county clerks, who run most of the state’s Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) in New York State, from facing lawsuits or removal by the governor when they act in good faith and with a reasonable belief they are upholding their oath of office and the Constitution of the United States by refusing to issue driver’s licenses to those here illegally.

The sponsor of the “Green Light Bill” also has introduced a bill to compel County Clerks to issue the licenses to those here illegally or face removal from office.

“Giving driver’s licenses to those here illegally sends the wrong message to honest, law-abiding citizens and those who are trying to do the right thing and have been in line for quite some time to become American citizens. If there is one set of hoops citizens have to jump through to earn their privileges but no standards for those here illegally, what’s the point of citizenship when you can just sneak into the front of the line and take advantage of our system?Make no mistake, if we continue on this dangerous path, we will become the United States of Non-Citizens,” said Senator Tedisco. “It was a bad idea when former Governor Eliot Spitzer wanted to do it and it’s a bad idea now!”

Tedisco noted that contrary to the bogus claims by advocates for the “Green-Light Bill,” federal and state courts have long ruled that driving is a privilege and that there is no fundamental right to drive.

In 2007, the New York State Court of Appeals upheld the DMV’s right to require social security numbers from driver’s license applicants. Moreover, the DMV has required driver’s license applicants to submit social security numbers for the past 24 years to combat rampant identity, bank and insurance fraud, not as a post-9/11 anti-immigration policy as advocates falsely suggest.

Senator Tedisco said that among the concerns is creating a double standard for American citizens applying for a standard license. For example, a citizen with a Social Security number would have to provide it, along with verifiable ID documents, while those here illegally would not. The bill also requires that licenses issued to those here illegally be “visually identical” to a federal-purpose license, which is a deliberate attempt to deceive and a violation of the federal REAL ID Act. The Green-Light bill would further hurt the DMV and law enforcement from upholding their constitutional duties by prohibiting them from reporting those here illegally to federal immigration officials and stifle police investigations for car accidents and other incidents. A recent amendment to the bill requires the DMV Commissioner to notify within three days anyone whose records are sought and requires the identification of the agency seeking the records. In what other law enforcement investigation is the suspect given advance notice?

“We are a state and a nation of laws. Whenever we exempt people from those laws, it creates chaos. We support immigration, but the legal process of immigration because if we don’t adhere to a legal system for becoming a citizen, New York State will become a magnet for those here illegally. We need an improved path to citizenship on the federal level for people who want to be a part of our magnificent melting pot of a republic, but it should not be done in an unfair, ham-handed way at the state-level that hurts our security and makes a mockery of what it means to be a citizen,” said Tedisco.