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Mychajliw releases report opposing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants

Thomas O'Neil-White

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw released a report Thursday detailing his concerns with a Democrat-proposed bill which would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. The proposal is currently being passed through the state Assembly, although there are concerns that it could die on the Senate floor as the legislative session comes to an end this month.

“We’ve been working on it for a few weeks, and quite frankly a few months,” Mychajliw said. “We wanted to make sure we’ve taken the information and provided it before the Assembly and Senate voted on it.”

A 2017 study from the Fiscal Policy Institute estimated $57 million in annual revenue should the bill become law, as well as a one-time, $26 million windfall due to registration fees and other taxes. Despite those estimates, Mychajliw remains opposed to it.

Prior to September 11, then-Republican Governor George Pataki had a similar license obtaining law. Mychajliw does not see this as a partisan issue, only an issue that violates federal law.

“On principal whether it was back then or right now, I whole heartedly, fundamentally disagree with the idea of giving an illegal alien a driver’s license,” he said. “I do know, based on data, there are negative consequences to this.”

Mychajliw stated he is fully behind immigrants obtaining driver’s licenses as soon as they become American citizens.   

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