The New York Immigration Coalition on Monday will launch a new push for a bill that would extend access to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, including a TV ad set to air in heavy rotation on New York City and Albany cable stations.
The ad, which will also be featured on social and digital media, will target voters in key state Senate districts on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley.
The spot highlights the support the measure, known as the Green Light bill, has received from local and county-level law enforcement in recent months.
Assembly Democrats this month signaled there was sufficient support in their conference to move forward with a floor vote in the coming weeks for the measure, but will first conduct a public information campaign highlight what supporters have said are the benefits of the measure.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he would sign the legislation if approved by the legislature, which is controlled by Democrats. Last week, Cuomo pointed to some of the arguments made by supporters of the bill, such as the public safety benefits of drivers have licenses.
“I want to make sure people on the road have a driver’s license and have taken a test and are qualified,” Cuomo said in an interview on WXXI in Rochester. “From a state point of view, we don’t do immigration policy. Yes, I support it, it is very controversial. But people often overlook the public safety standpoint, especially with this immigration debate.”
The bill is opposed by Republicans and some locally elected Democrats, including those like Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, have raised objections over the legislation, including security concerns with providing licenses to people potentially providing fraudulent documentation.
Advocates are likely to focus, however, on Democrats in the state Senate and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s handling of the talks over how the legislation is ultimately shaped. It’s a potentially tricky balancing act for lawmakers elected from formerly Republican districts and progressives who are pushing for the measure.