Debate grows over bill allowing undocumented immigrants to have NYS drivers licenses

1505b141-c2c4-46c2-ae5f-673c106dd229-large16x9_5c8fccb45c1a8.imageDebate grows over bill allowing undocumented immigrants to have NYS drivers licenses (DMV)

 

The New York Immigration Coalition protested a press conference held by the NY Conservative Party in Liverpool on Saturday that discussed preventing legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to get an NYS drivers license.

The Green Light NY Bill, which would allow undocumented immigrants the ability to get their drivers license, has gained momentum in Albany as Democrats in the State Assembly say they plan to move ahead in passing the bill.

“The experience in other states shows that allowing undocumented immigrants access to driver’s licenses would make the roads safer for everyone as all drivers would need to pass the same tests to get a license. And studies show that in states where undocumented immigrants have access to driver’s licenses, there has been a reduction in traffic fatalities and the number of uninsured cars on the road,” Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said.

In response to the bill, Rep. John Katko, said, “I oppose giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Rather than legitimizing illegal immigration, policymakers at all levels of government should be focused on creating a comprehensive solution on immigration that balances the needs of our economy, immigrants and their families, and strong national security.”

If the bill passes, New York would be joining 12 other states that already allow undocumented immigrants the ability to drive, including California and Utah.

 

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Black Woman Was Just Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Voting Illegally!

“She was never told that she couldn’t vote, and she voted in good faith,” her attorney said.

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A woman was sentenced Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas, to five years in prison for voting illegally in the 2016 presidential election while she was on supervised release from a fraud conviction.

Crystal Mason, 43, a mother of two, was released from prison after serving almost three years for a tax fraud conviction in 2011, the Star-Telegram reported. She waived her right to a jury trial and had her sentence assessed instead, which state District Judge Ruben Gonzalez decided.

In court, Mason said she voted at the urging of her mother, who insisted, and had never been told she was not allowed to vote. When she went to vote, her name was not on the voter roll, but an election worker walked her through how to vote provisionally after signing an affidavit, she said.

Gonzalez asked during testimony why Mason didn’t read the affidavit, which has a list of requirements to vote, including that the voter is not a felon or has served their full sentence, the Dallas News reported. Mason said she did not read it closely because an official was helping her.

Mason told the judge about getting to watch her daughter graduate when she was released from prison and that she now wants to see her son graduate, adding that she would never have voted if she knew it would jeopardize that.

The mother of two also said she had served her time for tax fraud and “would never do that again.”

Mason was sentenced in 2011 after pleading guilty to fraud that stemmed from a tax-preparation business she had with her now ex-husband. The couple submitted inflated tax refunds to the Internal Revenue Service, and she was ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution as part of her plea agreement, the Star-Telegram reported.

The judge had the option to sentence Mason to between two and 20 years in prison or probation for illegally voting.

J. Warren St. John, Mason’s defense attorney, said he had filed an appeal following the sentencing. BuzzFeed News has reached out to the defense attorney and prosecutor’s office for more information.

“She was never told that she couldn’t vote, and she voted in good faith,” St. John told the Star-Telegram after sentencing. “Why would she risk going back to prison for something that is not going to change her life?”

 

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