Trump Administration Looking Into State Laws That Give Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens

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Posted: Jan 01, 2020 4:15 PM
Trump Administration Looking Into State Laws That Give Driver's Licenses to Illegal Aliens

Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has asked the agencies involved in Homeland Security to study how state laws that allow illegal aliens to obtain drivers' licenses affect their departments' enforcement efforts. The acting secretary's request comes in the wake of recent state laws passed in New York and New Jersey that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses without having to show proof that they are lawfully present in the Unites States. The laws also restricts what information state agencies can share with federal immigration authorities. 

(Via NBC News)

The laws prohibit state Department of Motor Vehicles officials from providing data to agencies that enforce immigration law unless a judge orders it. New York cut off database access to at least three federal agencies last week when the law went into effect.

Wolf said in his memo, obtained by The Associated Press, that the department must be “prepared to deal with and counter these impacts as we protect the homeland.”

An estimated 265,000 immigrants without legal documents were expected to get driver’s licenses within three years, more than half of them in New York City, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Applicants must still get a permit and pass a road test to qualify for a “standard driver’s license,” which cannot be used for federal purposes like an enhanced driver’s license or Real ID.

Wolf's directive asks that each agency survey what DMV information is already available, how it is used in day-to-day operations, and what are the security consequences without the data.

According to NorthJersey.com, an estimated 338,000 illegal immigrants in New Jersey are expected to receive driver's licenses in the first three years under the new law. 

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