Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns plans to file a federal lawsuit Tuesday, challenging New York State’s new law granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
In an advisory, the Clerk’s Office said he will sue Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and the Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark Schroeder in U.S. District Court in Buffalo. He said in enacting the “Green Light” law, the state is substantially facilitating “illegal aliens to remain in the United States” and shielding them from detection by immigration enforcement officials.
“The law compels County Clerks across the State to be an instrument to violate federal law,” the advisory reads. “The federal lawsuit seeks a declaration as the law’s constitutionality and will also be seeking an injunction to prevent the law from going into effect prior to a final decision from the courts.”
Kearns has been one of the biggest critics of the new law, consistently maintaining his office will not process the licenses. He announced his intention to sue a day after it was officially signed, and has the assistance of the county attorney.
Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has supported the county attorney assisting Kearns in seeking clarification on the law. However, he said he expects all county officials to follow the law if a federal judge determines the new law is appropriate.
Kearns was traveling Monday for a meeting of county clerks from across the state.