Monday, October 29, 2007
From NYTImes.com:Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s retreat from his plan to permit illegal immigrants to obtain the same kind of driver’s licenses as other New Yorkers drew angry reactions yesterday from civil liberties advocates and immigrant groups, some of whom described the shift as a stunning betrayal.
The governor has been under fierce assault from conservative groups and others since proposing last month to allow illegal immigrants to get New York driver’s licenses. But joined by the federal secretary of homeland security, Micheal Chertoff, in Washington yesterday, the governor announced a starkly different version of his plan.
It calls for separate tiers of licenses. New Yorkers who could provide stringent proof of legal residency could get the new federally recognized license known as Real ID. The licenses available to illegal residents would not serve as federal identification.
“What a huge political flip,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.
“He’s now embracing and letting his good name be used to promote something that has been widely known in the immigrant community as one of the most anti-immigrant pieces of legislation to come out of Congress,” Ms. Hong said. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]