Erie County Lawsuit to Block Green Light Implementation Is Dismissed

Steve Choi of the NY Immigration Coalition speaking in Albany.

Erie County’s case against the Green Light law has been dismissed in federal court, on the basis of standing. While there are two other lawsuits pending, they have the same legal basis and hopefully will fare as badly. The Green Light law allows undocumented immigrants and others to apply for licenses.

The Erie County Clerk filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court in Buffalo arguing that he was being required to violate Federal immigration laws by issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. In Upstate and Western New York, licenses are issued by the county clerks, not by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The clerk alledged that if he was required to issue licenses and he refused to do so, that he would be removed from office by Gov. Cuomo. The court found this argument to be based on speculation and conclusions of law that were not supported by evidence.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.