Feds strike deal on Eliot Spitzer driver's licenses for illegal aliens (victory or defeat?)

eliot spitzer drivers licenses (Picture associated with UPDATE 3 below)

From this:
The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver's licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version.

...Saturday's agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York. It is the largest state to sign on so far to the government's post-Sept. 11 effort to make identification cards more secure [joining Arizona, Vermont and Washington].

...Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it.

"I don't endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice," Chertoff said.

The governor made clear he is going forward with his plan allowing licenses for illegal immigrants. But advocates on both sides of the debate said Spitzer had caved to pressure by adopting the administration's stance on tighter security standards for most driver's licenses.
The first tier is an "enhanced" license, followed by one that complies with the REAL ID Act. The third tier is one just for those who are making money for corrupt businesses and banks and who just might vote for Democrats, i.e., illegal aliens. They wouldn't be valid as federal ID. As Rep. Peter King says, this might be a defeat for Spitzer because few illegal aliens might want the licenses since they would strongly indicate that the bearer is here illegally. Needless to say, "immigrant rights" groups will probably protest it for that reason.

UPDATE: The plan won't go into effect until mid to late 2008. Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola says he'll continue his plan to sue to try to prevent any kind of licenses being issued to illegal aliens. And, as predicted, those on the other side are complaining, with Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, saying:
"He has crossed the line to the other side, letting his good name be used to promote an anti-immigrant, junk security measure in the Real ID."
Here are some details on the tiers:
A lower-level license for driving and state ID purposes will be available to illegal aliens and citizens. The license will carry the words "Not for U.S. government purposes" and won't be acceptable ID for boarding a plane, entering a federal facility like a courtroom, or crossing the border.

A more expensive second license, a federally recognized document that meets the REAL ID security requirements enacted by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be available to citizens and legal aliens and will be good for boarding a plane or accessing federal facilities.

The third document, known as an "enhanced driver's license," will be strictly for U.S. citizens. It will carry all the federal benefits of the REAL ID, plus allow New Yorkers to cross the border into Canada without a passport under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
The "WHTI" sounds like it warrants a bit more research.

UPDATE 2: Ray Rivera of the New York Times offers "Governor Accused of Betraying Principles", which will probably be repurposed as an NYT immigration editiorial. It contains a similar Chung-Wha Hong quote, together with this:
[Hong] said having separate licenses would amount to a scarlet letter for illegal immigrants. "I know I'm speaking for millions of immigrants when I say I just feel so thoroughly betrayed."
If Rivera were a real reporter he would have called her on that. Isn't she basically play-acting? "Immigrants" - those who've pledged to abide by our laws - can get the middle-tier, normal licenses. Is she making the false claim that most legal immigrants feel solidarity with illegal aliens? To the extent that that's true, isn't that more of either a personal thing (mixed status families) or a racial solidarity issue? Is encouraging either of those good public policy?

And, never fear, the ACLU is here:
The separate licenses could also serve as an invitation for law enforcement to arrest anyone carrying one on immigration charges, said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. She added that the new proposal could send illegal immigrants further into the shadows, compelling them to drive with forged or no licenses and without insurance.
That's what's happening already, so it's not going to get worse just because they won't get the new, special licenses just for them.

UPDATE 3: The picture at the top of this post is apparently from a protest which was held today in front of Spitzer's NYC office (link). Hong was apparently there, as well as another play-actor:
"You have forsaken a practical policy that would have been a benefit for all New Yorkers - for what? For just your own short-sighted political cover," said S.J. Jung of [Young Korean American Service and Education Center]. "Today, New Yorkers are outraged by your flip-flopping and New Yorkers are ashamed to have someone like you as our governor."
YKASEC is also a member of the "New York Coalition to Expand Voting Rights", a group that wants to let "immigrants" vote; whether that means illegal aliens or not isn't known. They also say that "New York government officials do not adequately reflect the faces of the people they represent."

How badly has Spitzer's corrupt scheme failed? He's lost support among law-abiding New Yorkers, and he's also lost the support of at least the leaders of a couple groups that, like him, support illegal activity. On one hand it's good that his career has been damaged; on the other hand, it would be better if there were no licenses for illegal aliens at all.


Issuance of any kind of license that facilitates illegal aliens presence in this country is tantamount to aiding and abetting illegal immigration. Chertoff knows this. This is just another example of George Bush's government shirking its responsibilty to enforce immigration law. How does issuing separate licenses for illegal aliens make our nation safer? The governor of New York will never permit law enforcement to review appications or verify that the source documents used for identification are actually valid. This is just a sham.

New York law states that a valid social security number must be presented for a driver's license. A state legislator will likely sue the governor to prevent the issue of regular licenses to illegal aliens. This deal between Chertoff and Spitzer may be irrelevent if the outcome of the suit isn't favorable to Spitzer.

George you don't really think that we have Law's do you? after all the system of total mexify corporation BS Needs the third world people to help in the total enslavement of this population who can still think like a free people, and when that is done watch out the real fun starts. watch Alex Jones " the end game "

Chertoff SHOULD have said he would arrest anyone appyling for these licenses like the clerks are doing.......Bush is behind this --you can be sure he sent that empty suit Chertoff to stick his toe in the door til they can get amnesty!

I love it, think tree's, with little political pigs being lynched and making our days happy once more.