Standing beside Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on Saturday, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer announced a new plan to make New York's driver's licenses the most secure in the nation.
According to the press release on the governor's Web site, the plan has three basic features:
As a result, New York will have three separate but secure driver's licenses: the aforementioned "Ehanced Driver's License" that is as secure as a passport, a federally-approved license that will be sufficient for air travel, and a New York state license.
The state license will be for driving and identification purposes and will be open to illegal aliens.
Critics, though, are still angry illegal aliens will be able to obtain the New York state driver's license, the Associated Press reports.
"It's about time that Governor Spitzer is understanding of the fact that giving licenses without the requirement of a Social Security Number is flawed," said Republican state Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn. But he said the Senate's Republican majority will still seek to alter Spitzer's plan to make sure illegal immigrants can't get any version of the license.
Spitzer is not cowed by his opposition and praised Chertoff for allowing New York to give illegal aliens driver's licenses.
“This agreement also demonstrated the benefits of putting politics aside when advancing sound policy. I respect Secretary Chertoff’s feelings about providing undocumented immigrants with driver's licenses, and applaud him and the Department of Homeland Security for recognizing that this is a state decision and that we can still implement such a policy in ways that will make the system safer and secure for all Americans.”