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New York allows undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in New York, his office said Monday night.

The state Senate approved the bill moments after a statement indicating Cuomo would sign it was issued, 33-29. The Assembly approved the bill earlier this month.

Cuomo only hours earlier raised the possibility of a veto of the measure over concerns the bill would create a “database” of undocumented people living in New York who would be subject to a federal immigration enforcement action.

Cuomo administration counsel Alphonso David subsequently sent a letter to Solicitor General Barbara Underwood seeking a legal opinion on whether the state would have to turn over the information to the federal government.

Instead, a statement came from Underwood’s boss, Attorney General Letitia James, seen broadly as a Cuomo ally. James rebuffed any concerns, saying the bill has safeguards against exposure.

“The legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses,” she said. “If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it.”

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