Staudenraus v. Spitzer
Driver’s Licenses for Illegal ImmigrantsThis Judicial Watch lawsuit on behalf of a New York taxpayer challenged a plan to provide driver licenses to illegal aliens. The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County against then New York Governor Eliot Spitzer over a policy implemented on September 21, 2007 that will “give all New Yorkers the opportunity to apply for driver’s licenses without regard to immigration status” (Staudenraus v. Spitzer, Index No. 07-33872).According to New York State law, with respect to driver licenses, the DMV Commissioner “shall require that the applicant provide his or her social security number.” Under the new DMV policy, however, applicants will not have to provide a Social Security number to receive a driver’s license. They must only provide a foreign passport and some secondary form of identification, such as a lease or a copy of parole papers.The lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the New York law firm Borovina and Marullo PLLC, on behalf of Suffolk County resident and taxpayer James M. Staudenraus, sought “equitable and declaratory relief against defendants who in the course of their official duties has caused…a wrongful expenditure, misappropriation, misapplication, and other illegal and unconstitutional disbursement of state funds as well as unlawful conduct in connection with their plan to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented aliens in contravention of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law.”Shortly after the filing of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, Governor Spitzer abandoned his plan, citing “pending lawsuits” and public opposition.
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