Representative John Hall, a Democrat whose district is in the Hudson Valley, told me last night he is concerned that illegal immigrants who obtain a driver’s license under Eliot Spitzer’s plan could use it as a “breeder document to secure more documentation.”
Hall, who was in town for the Empire State Pride Agenda fund-raiser at the Hilton, told me:
“I’m concerned with what kind of security measures will be in place to ensure that people receiving licenses are who they say they are and that it won’t be used as a breeder document to secure more documentation. My wife was assistant state attorney general in Tennessee when they did the same thing and their experience in Tennessee was that more undocumented immigrants came to the state specifically because they knew they could receive a driver’s license where they couldn’t in other states. So, it does increase the traffic in the states that choose to do this. I haven’t made up my mind yet but I’m concerned that the procedures to protect our security.”
Hall did say that he’s undecided about Spitzer’s plan, but the concerns he raised are among the most critical and detailed yet from a Democrat in New York’s delegation.
Hall is one of the three freshman Democratic congressman in the state that Spitzer, as head of the party here, has to help re-elect. (The others are Kirsten Gillibrand, who opposes the plan, and Michael Arcuri, whose office hasn’t returned several messages about the issue.)
Representative Anthony Weiner, a likely mayoral candidate, has also been critical of the plan, saying in a statement that it raised “legitimate problems.”