New York: Renewed push for driver’s license for undocumented immigrants comes amid political change

With Democrats holding a commanding majority in the state Senate and Assembly, New York immigration advocates see a clear path to passing legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

“We are in a very powerful position right now,” said Luis Yumbla, director of the Hudson Valley Community Coalition, an immigration advocacy group. “2019 will be the year that undocumented immigrants receive driver licenses.”

The idea has been subject of fierce debate in New York since 2007 when then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer tried to push through a similar proposal and launched a bruising political battle with state Republicans. Subsequent iterations have failed.