Aug. 20, 2004 – The New York State Assembly's Transportation Committee will host a hearing in Manhattan today about a crackdown against licensing illegal immigrants to drive. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles has begun a program that could take away as many as 200,000 licenses from immigrants who cannot prove they are in the United States legally by producing a social security number.
In January, New York sent the first 500,000 letters threatening to take away licenses from those whose Social Security numbers did not match federal records. Only 600 licenses have been suspended so far, but officials say that, after sending the second half of notices, the DMV will begin suspending licenses of those who do not reply at a rate of 4,000 a day.
While officials insist the measure is not intended to target immigrants, rights advocates say the suspensions will disproportionately affect undocumented immigrants.