After staunch opposition, Spitz drops “licenses for illegals” plan

The NYT reports this morning that NY’s Gov. Spitz has taken off the table his unpopular plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants:

ALBANY, Nov. 13 — Gov. Eliot Spitzer is abandoning his plan to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, saying that opposition is just too overwhelming to move forward with such a policy.

The governor, who is to announce the move formally on Wednesday, said in an interview Tuesday night that he did not reach the decision easily.

“You have perhaps seen me struggle with it because I thought we had a principled decision, and it’s not necessarily easy to back away from trying to move a debate forward” he said.

But he came to believe the proposal would ultimately be blocked, he said, either by legal challenges, a vote by the Legislature to deny financing for the Department of Motor Vehicles or a refusal by upstate county clerks to carry it out.

“I am not willing to fight to the bitter end on something that will not ultimately be implemented” the governor said, “and we also have an enormous agenda on other issues of great importance to New York State that was being stymied by the constant and almost singular focus on this issue.”

Lawhawk speculates that the move was designed, in part, to help out Spitzer’s fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton:

I have no doubt that this was timed to give cover to Hillary considering the mess that Spitzer made for her campaign. He might revisit this some time down the road, but I doubt that they’ll go far. Most people simply do not want to provide illegal aliens with benefits and privileges that citizens can be hard pressed to obtain.

For whatever the reason, thankfully, for once, the rule of law on illegal immigration prevailed. Unfortunately, Spitzer’s failure to win the support of the people his state on this issue hasn’t kept him from trying to implement other unpopular ideas, which likely won’t endear him to a state already reluctant to re-elect him.

Comments are closed.