Dear Editor (of the Queens Chronicle):
As President of the Flushing Chinese Business Association and a member of Community Board 7, I write to respectfully express my strong disagreement with state Sen. Toby Stavisky’s recent vote to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses in New York.
As someone who legally immigrated to America 40 years ago and achieved the American dream to which so many of my fellow citizens aspire, I find the idea of granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens truly abhorrent. Doing so is a slap in the face to the millions of immigrants who entered America legally and would severely compromise the safety and security of all New Yorkers and Americans everywhere.
New Yorkers from all walks of life should be thankful to state Sen. Frank Padavan for introducing S.6484 in response to Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s misguided plan to provide driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. After it was discovered the Sept. 11 hijackers were able to obtain ID cards and licenses without proof of citizenship, the federal government and many states enacted more stringent policies under the REAL ID Act to correct this gaping security hole, which the governor wants to reopen.
Padavan’s bill is common sense legislation that requires applicants for driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards to provide proof of citizenship or lawful presence here. S.6484 recently passed the state Senate with bipartisan support, though Stavisky voted against it and endorsed Spitzer’s policy to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
It is unfortunate Stavisky opposed this legislation, which struck a fair balance in denying licenses to illegal aliens while not excluding legal non-citizens, such as temporary residents, visa holders and asylum seekers who provide sufficient documentation of their status.
Stavisky’s support for allowing illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses endangers our state, rewards lawbreakers and leaves us all more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
Flushing Chinese Business Association