Rensselaer Co. Clerk Won't Issue Driver's Licenses to Illegal Immigrants

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New York is now the 13th state to allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to apply for a driver's license, but some county clerks are already saying they won't give someone a license who can't prove they're in this country legally.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola has said for some time that he has never given an illegal immigrant a license, and never will. He says he was "shocked" that the measure passed the legislature.

Merola made headlines with the comment that he would have ICE on speed dial. He says he's not backing away from that, and would have no problem calling Immigration Enforcement if an illegal immigrant tried to get a driver's license in his office.

The "Green Light Bill" law was signed off Monday night by Governor Cuomo goes into effect by the year's end. Some Republicans like Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin are against the law saying illegal immigrants should not be rewarded for violating immigration rules.

Supporters who gathered in Albany to cheer on the passage of the law say it will help immigrants get work and grow the economy.

A measure that would have protected County Clerks who refuse to issue a license was defeated. The bill takes effect in 180 days.

Photo: Getty Images

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