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New York Rules for Issuing Drivers Licenses to Immigrants Upheld

Nov. 30, 2020, 8:02 PM

The Erie County, N.Y., clerk’s claim that New York’s method of issuing drivers licenses to immigrants is preempted by federal law was rejected by the Second Circuit on Monday.

Michael Kearns didn’t have standing to file his suit, the court said in an opinion by Judge Barrignton D. Parker. Kearns claimed he faces prosecution if he follows the state’s regime because of the preemption issue.

Under the REAL ID Act, states must verify an applicant’s lawful residence status before issuing a compliant drivers license. But the statute doesn’t prevent states from issuing noncompliant licenses, the court said.

Drivers in New...

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