Angry New Yorker

Thursday, August 19, 2004
[Ed. note - Maybe we're missing something, but we just don't understand why a negative impact on those here illegally should be a factor in cracking down on drivers' licenses garnered with fake Soc. Security numbers. Color me crazy, but what aspect of illegality raises "concerns"? The those who are here illegally part, or the illegal use of a fake or wrong social security number?]

DMV Launches Massive Crackdown On Drivers Without Valid Social Security Number

AUGUST 19TH, 2004
Keeping a closer eye on just who gets state and federal I.D. cards was something the 9/11 Commission highlighted in their final report. Now the state DMV is rearing a massive crackdown on drivers without valid social security numbers – a crackdown that worries many illegal immigrants. NY1 Brooklyn borough Janine Ramirez filed the following story.

It's a state law that has been in place since 1995. But thanks to new technology and increasing attention on identification fraud following 9/11, the state Department of Motor Vehicles is vowing to make sure for the first time that no New York driver renews their license without a real social security number.

"As we learned from 9/11, 18 of the 19 hijackers held valid driving licenses from other states, many of which were obtained through fraudulent means," said New York State DMV Commissioner Raymond Martinez. "These license documents issued in states where requirement were less stringent than those here in New York, allowed hijackers to board planes and execute acts of terrorism against our nation."

As a result of the new effort, up to 300,000 New Yorkers may lose their right to drive – many of them illegal immigrants without social security numbers.

Inside and outside a State Assembly hearing, immigrant advocates Thursday charged the crackdown unfairly targets immigrant families, who need to be able to drive in order to work.

"I believe we can find a middle ground to all this," said Fernando Mateo of Hispanics Across America. "But to take the license off of so many hard working immigrants is going to detrimental to not only the economy of the state, but to a lot of families."

But some of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 say it's not about discrimination but about keeping the country safe."

Read the full article here.

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