To the editor:

The debate to restore immigrant access to driver's licenses appears to be guided by fear more than fact. The governor's plan is a sensible way to improve safety and security in New York.

Applicants will need to prove their identities through stringent procedures and prove their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The policy will enhance security by adding improved document verification technology, photo comparison tools and advanced anti-fraud training for DMV agents. No one has suggested that applicants will get a free ride.

Indeed, it ensures that New York's licenses will be among the most secure in the nation. The policy also guarantees safer roads by allowing hundreds of thousands of motorists to obtain automobile insurance. Opponents of the policy want to pretend that nearly 1 million undocumented residents of New York simply do not exist. This is simply counterproductive.

It's time opponents of this plan discard the politics of fear and support this pro-safety, pro-security policy.

Gary Pudup
Director, Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union