Erie County clerk suing to stop Green Light bill from taking effect

Jul 8, 2019

Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns is suing top state officials over the recent passage of the Green Light Bill, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses in New York.

Kearns, who has been a vocal opponent of the law, will be in federal court Tuesday filing a suit that challenges the constitutionality of the legislation and seeks an injunction to prevent it from going into effect.

In late May, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and clerk Michael Kearns signed letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking him to reject the Green Light Bill.
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

Named in the suit are Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and DMV commissioner Mark Schroeder.

In announcing the lawsuit, Kearns said the bill "substantially facilitates illegal aliens to remain in the United Staste and aims to shield them from detection by immigration officials." The clerk says the law compels county clerks across the state to be "an instrument to violate federal law."

Other Erie County officials, including Sheriff Tim Howard and Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, have also voiced opposition to the Green Light Bill.

A call seeking comment from Kearns on Monday was not returned.