Could driver’s licenses for the undocumented have ‘unintended consequences’?

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Local leaders oppose driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, but state business council supports measure

Sharing concerns that state leaders will pass a law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, Erie County’s clerk and comptroller each said Thursday that there could be negative consequences that go beyond principle.

Mickey Kearns said that fraud could be a possibility and that would drain time and resources from the clerk’s office.

Stefan Mychajliw cited concern for law enforcement, and in a letter addressed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both emphasized that their jobs are to follow the law to the letter.

Both Kearns and Mychajliw said their offices would work together on a report to outline potential negative consequences of the proposal.

However, the Business Council of New York State, announced this week it supports the measure, which has been introduced in both chambers.

President and CEO Heather Briccetti told News 4 a number of businesses that work with drivers and insurance companies have come forward about this. She said there’s an overall concern about how immgration laws affect the workforce that the Business Council wants to see addressed at the federal level.

The Business Council also said safety is a priority for strong communities, and that allowing undocumented immigrats to obtain a legal license would reduce the number of uninsured drivers and crashes such as hit & runs.

“Driving unlicensed is a sheer necessity and often their only way to get their children to school and complete daily tasks and, so we think that it would be a safety issue to ensure that they have a license, that they are properly licensed and insured,” Briccetti said.

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