Brendan Keany

Erie County Officials Warn State Against Illegal Alien Driver's Licenses

"State leaders are acting recklessly and irresponsibly."

May 30, 2019 - 1:14 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and Clerk Mickey Kearns have announced an investigation into the consequences of granting driver's license rights to illegal aliens.

"As comptroller of Erie County, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution," began Mychajliw. "On principle, I oppose any law allowing illegal aliens the right to obtain a driver's license here in New York State."

Kearns wrote a letter to Mychajliw asking that he look into potential financial ramifications of any such legislation, and Mychajliw says he's in the process of aggregating that report so it can be released in the coming days or week.

"We're trying to take the politics out of this issue and talk about the facts," said Kearns. "Forget about both sides and what the politics is; look at the facts, and the facts are clear that there will be a financial cost to the taxpayers Erie County, and it could be substantial."

Mychajliw then explained what he believes could be other unintended consequences.

"A driver's license in New York State is called a breeder document, meaning illegal immigrants could potentially obtain other forms of documentation like a hunting license," he began. As far as our board of elections are concerned, how do we know...if someone takes a driver's license, do we have any idea if this person tries to register to vote? I have no idea whether or not the board of elections are going to check for illegal immigrants with driver's licenses and whether or not they're going to have the right to vote here in Erie County."

Then, the comptroller called out state officials who support this bill.

"State leaders are acting recklessly and irresponsibly," he said. "They clearly haven't thought this through, especially with the numerous negative ramifications for taxpayers, law enforcement and families."

"I am standing very strongly in a bipartisan manner with Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, a Democrat, telling Governor Cuomo that if this bill comes across his desk for him not to sign it," said Mychajliw.

Listen to the entire press conference below:

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