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Letter: Spitzer’s Plan Will Make Licenses More Secure (Albany Times-Union)

To the editor:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s decision to restore immigrant access to driver’s licenses will shine much-needed light on people too often kept in the shadows. The result is safer roads and enhanced security for all New Yorkers.

Additionally, the policy will improve document verification technology, photo comparison tools and provide advanced anti-fraud training for DMV agents, making New York’s license the most secure in the nation.

Applicants must still prove their identity and demonstrate the ability to operate an automobile, which has always been required in New York. Many arguments against the policy have relied on scare tactics and factual distortions.

For example, the policy does not violate the federal Real ID Act. Under the act, New Yorkers will be able to use their licenses to board planes at least until May 2013. No state currently complies with the law and 17 states have already passed legislation opposing it. All indicators suggest that Congress will repeal or amend the act soon.

It’s time opponents of this plan discard their politics of fear and support this pro-safety, pro-security, pro-New York policy.

Melanie Trimble
Director, Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union

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