Neetu Chandak, DCNF
New York’s largest immigration advocacy group is looking to spend $1 million to convince lawmakers in the state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses as President Donald Trump cracks down on unlawful entry into the U.S.
The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) plans to increase its lobbying efforts and invest at minimum $1 million on TV, radio and targeted ads on social media, the New York Daily News reported Monday. This could be NYIC’s biggest campaign.
“Our goal is to target every single legislator in New York State,” NYIC Executive Director Steven Choi said, according to the NY Daily News.
Choi said allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses would make roads safer by decreasing the number of drivers without licenses. The policy would also help lower auto insurance costs for New Yorkers, though it is unclear how this would occur. Around 265,000 people would benefit from NYIC’s proposed initiative, the NY Daily News reported.
“If Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo is looking to protect immigrants from Donald Trump and his administration, as he says, this is the No. 1 policy we can adopt to do that,” Choi said, according to the NY Daily News.
Choi has criticized Trump for shutting down the government after Democrats and Republicans failed to compromise on putting $5 billion towards building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Trump’s tantrum over his ridiculous border wall clearly demonstrates that he is morally bankrupt and fiscally irresponsible,” Choi said in a press statementon Jan. 8.
Cuomo, a Democrat, has supported progressive policies on immigration including creating a DREAM Act for the state, which would allow children of illegal immigrants to receive state tuition aid for college. He has also pardoned illegal immigrants with criminal histories.
Twelve states, including California, Illinois and Maryland, offer driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
NYIC and the New York Department of Motor Vehicles did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.