Bronx DA Comes Out in Favor of Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Pictured: Bronx DA Darcel Clark speaks at press conference. Credit: Bronx District Attorney's Office

By Kevin Deutsch                                                      kdeutsch@bronxjusticenews.com

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark on Saturday became the second DA in the state to announce her support for legislation that would grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.

“I’d just like to announce that I am officially in favor of this bill,” Clark said during a panel at the Somos spring conference in Albany, where Hispanic politicians, activists, and others gather to discuss issues important to Latinx communities.

She made the announcement while seated beside Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who announced his support for the bill last month.

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Pending state legislation would make New York the 13th state, in addition to Washington D.C., to allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.

An estimated 265,000 immigrants in the state would be eligible to apply for licenses if the legislation passes, most of them in New York City, according to an analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Under the proposed law, applicants would have to pass all the regular tests required of licensed drivers. The document would not impact their citizenship status or allow them to vote, authorities said.

The FPI analysis found that the law would generate about $57 million in annual revenue and $26 million in one-time revenue from the purchase of driver’s licenses, new cars, registrations, and sales and gas taxes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he supports granting licenses to illegal immigrants, while a number of law enforcement officials have come out against the policy.

About Kevin Deutsch 107 Articles
Kevin Deutsch is a Staff Writer for Bronx Justice News covering the criminal justice system, incarceration, and DNA use by law enforcement. An award-winning journalist, Deutsch is the author of the true crime books "Pill City" and "The Triangle." He has worked on staff at the Daily News, Miami Herald, Newsday, The Palm Beach Post, and The Riverdale Press. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Forward, The Independent, Huffington Post, and the New York Post, among other publications. A Bronx resident, Deutsch hosts the true crime podcast "A Dark Turn" on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.