Undocumented Immigrants

The first lawsuit has been filed against New York's new law to permit undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses as Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the new law.


New York's county clerks are meeting in Syracuse on Monday to discuss a new law that requires county departments of motor vehicles to issue driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, some county clerks who are opposed to the law are pressing forward on a federal lawsuit.


House Passes $4.5 Billion In Emergency Border Aid

Jun 26, 2019

The House Democratic leadership pushed through a $4.5 billion emergency aid package late Tuesday to help thousands of migrants packed into overcrowded facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, but it's unlikely to get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

Thomas O'Neil-White / WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature will back County Clerk Mickey Kearns in his refusal to issue driver's licenses to people in the country illegally.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill late Monday night that will allow undocumented workers in New York to obtain a driver’s license. The "Green Light Bill" was highly contested by Republican lawmakers throughout the legislative process. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with a few undocumented workers on what a license means to them and the risks they face without it.

The New York State Senate voted 33-29 to allow undocumented immigrants to receive standard driver’s licenses. Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised some last-minute objections, saying he fears some data the state Department of Motor Vehicles collects on the immigrants might be accessed by the federal government and immigration officials. However, late in the evening, the governor signed the bill.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The New York State Assembly has passed and sent on to the State Senate a bill to allow driver's licenses for people in the country illegally. Supporters of Green Light New York are excited - and showed it at a rally in front of Lafayette High School in Buffalo.

Following a spirited debate, the New York State Assembly approved a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. It’s not a done deal though, and it faces resistance in the State Senate.


Thomas O'Neil-White

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw released a report Thursday detailing his concerns with a Democrat-proposed bill which would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Governor's Office

With 11 working days left in the legislative session, the atmosphere is intensifying at the State Capitol. Democrats who lead the Legislature are facing pressure from all sides to deliver on legislation that they campaigned on.

Thomas O'Neil-White/WBFO News

Two Erie County elected officials say they are concerned about the possible negative consequences of allowing undocument immigrants to obtain a driver's license in New York.

Karen DeWitt

A leading business group has come out in favor of granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, increasing the chances of the bill’s passage in the state Legislature this year.


Karen DeWitt

A bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in New York is gaining support in the state Legislature. But there’s also a growing backlash, and several upstate county sheriffs, county clerks and state lawmakers are explaining why they oppose the measure.


Matt Ryan/New York Now

The New York State Legislature has approved a measure known as the Dream Act that would offer college aid for children of undocumented immigrants. However, they stopped short of acting on a measure to offer driver’s licenses to immigrants in New York without documentation.

New York Immigration Coalition

With Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns speaking out against undocumented immigrants receiving driver's licenses, the issue has taken center stage. One advocate believes Kearns will "find himself on the wrong side of history."


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns says if New York State moves forward with legislation allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses, the county's Auto Bureau will not go along.


National Public Radio

Democrats who control the New York Assembly say they will again pass legislation that would provide state college financial aid programs to students without legal status.

New York State is home to over 4.4 million immigrants and now a new initiative will guarantee them access to legal assistance.

WBFO file photo/Eileen Koteras Elibol

President-Elect Donald Trump, in his first broadcast interview since winning last Tuesday's election, spoke of his plan to deport as many as three million undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions shortly after taking office. Local legal experts say that's unlikely to happen, given an existing backlog of deportation cases.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The owner of four local Mexican restaurants, as well as two other individuals, are charged with harboring illegal immigrants after federal agents raided the eateries late Tuesday morning.

WBFO News photo of poster for event.

Violence flows at the Mexican border where many seek asylum in the United States. That issue will be highlighted Wednesday night as the 33rd Annual Father A. Joseph Bissonnette Lain America Event will be held at Daemen College in Amherst.

File photo

A bill that would make illegal immigrants in New York State eligible for financial aid is running in to some local opposition. 

The legislation introduced recently by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would apply to children of illegals who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years. 

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak says Albany has cut back on the Tuition Assistance Program in recent years. The Cheektowaga Democrat says if anything, funding should be restored to TAP  first.

WBFO News file photo /

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has announced his support for a program that would provide tuition aid to illegal immigrants.

That proposal is receiving harsh local criticism a from both sides of the aisle. Republican State Senator Mark Grisanti claimed the initiative would be unfair to legal residents of the state who struggle with tuition costs.

Two Democratic hopefuls in a challenge to Grisanti also panned the plan.

Al Coppola and Charles Swanick stated that the program would be an unfair challenge to legal residents and an unnecessary burden on taxpayers.
 

File Photo / WBFO/AM 970 News

Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has proposed extending aid for higher education in New York State to illegal immigrants.

The bill, presented on Friday, would make government financial aid and low-interest loans available to illegal immigrants in an effort to provide them better opportunities to gain employment. The initiative comes on the heals of President Obama's Dream Act.

There has been no reaction from state Republicans nor the Governor.