"I believe that we as legislators have an obligation to protect and uphold our laws and not assist those who choose to break them," said Dave Malta, (R) Webster.
This is in response to Governor Eliot Spitzer's announcement last month allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a New York State driver's license without a social security number. Republicans cited three major concerns. They say by giving undocumented immigrants licenses, it threatens public safety, it strains the economy by allowing them to compete for jobs and it gives them the right to vote.
"Now we're going to give over the power to illegal aliens the opportunity to commit voter fraud and to elect our elected officials, vote on our laws, our propositions," said Malta.
A concern echoed by the County Clerk, Cheryl Dinolfo.
"Once you have a driver's license, you certainly can go right over to the board of elections with your driver's license number and register to vote," said Dinolfo.
According to Dinolfo, there are nearly 3,800 undocumented immigrants in Monroe County who would be eligible for driver's licenses under Spitzer's plan. Some Democrats say the Republicans' move undermines the Governor's executive order, questioning Dinolfo's violation of her oath of office.
"I just can't see how giving the clerk the ability to overlook the laws that have been set forth by the State is going to make this any better," said Willie J. Lightfoot, (D) Rochester.
"Unless there is further action in Albany, I don't see how this County Clerk can ignore the directive and remain County Clerk and remain an agent of the Department of Motor Vehicles," said Carla M. Palumbo, (D) Rochester.
"We don't think that's a possibility," said Malta.
Republicans say they're confident Democrats will have to go through the State Legislature to remove Dinolfo from office.