County secretaries in New York State refuse to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, even though the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act will go into effect within the state on Dec. 14.
Moreover, they propose reporting illegal aliens who apply for licenses to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in compliance with the law, according to Law & Crime, Nov. 14.
“If you come into my facility and you have done something illegal, it is my obligation to report you to the appropriate authorities, whether you’re a citizen or not,” explained Allegany County Clerk Robert L. Christman.
These officials are elected by popular vote, which gives them immunity from simple dismissal.
Erie County Clerk Michael P. Kearns had already filed a federal lawsuit against the New York State law permitting the issuance of licenses to illegal aliens, which was dismissed by Judge Elizabeth Wolford of the Western District of New York.
However, the ruling will be reviewed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“When I filed this lawsuit, it was based wholly upon the Constitutionality of the law,” said Kearns, who added that he would appeal the court’s decision, according to the New York Law Journal.
Kearns’ arguments contemplated that he would be violating federal law if his office agreed to issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, which could lead to criminal charges by federal prosecutors.
He also argued that immigration law falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress, so the new state law would be invalid.