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Ossining Board Calls For Driver's Licenses For All New York Residents

The Ossining Village Board approved a resolution calling for driver's licenses to be issued to all residents, regardless of immigration status.
The Ossining Village Board approved a resolution calling for driver's licenses to be issued to all residents, regardless of immigration status. Photo Credit: File

OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Ossining Village Board thinks all New York residents should be eligible for a driver's license, regardless of immigration status.

The board unanimously approved a resolution calling for the state to pass legislation allowing illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses. Twelve states, including Connecticut, allow illegal immigrants to have a license.

"These New York residents urgently need these licenses in order to lawfully drive to their places of work, buy groceries and essential supplies, take their children to school, travel to appointments, attend religious worship, or get to the hospital and other medical facilities in cases of emergencies," the resolution said.

The board said licensing all drivers would improve public safety and an increase in revenue for the state from license and registration fees.

"The Village Trustees of the Village of Ossining expresses our collective desire for safety and security for all of our residents, and, further, our commitment to pursuing the common good by ensuring shared resources such as roads and highways be accessed and utilized responsibly and safely," the resolution read.

Ossining is the first municipality in Westchester to pass this type of resolution.

"This is a common-sense resolution," Trustee Quantel Bazemore said. "People do need to drive. I'm glad to see we're doing it."

Trustee Rika Levin said this was long overdue. Levin, the child of immigrants, said if her parents didn't have a license, her life would've been very different.

"I'm glad this was brought to our attention," Levin said.

In 2007, then Governor Eliot Spitzer attempted to pass legislation and issue an executive order allowing illegal immigrants the chance to obtain driver's licenses. The plan faced heavy opposition and was voted down in the senate and assembly and never became law.

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