NEW York Eliot Spitzer has landed himself in extra hot water over the driver's license issue, but it is still important that Irish undocumented understand what has occurred.
By December of 2008 all undocumented will be able to obtain a license. That will allow them to get auto insurance, and they will be able to use the document as an ID everywhere except at an airport or a federal building.
Most already use their passport at the airport anyway, and very few would ever enter a federal building - think immigration headquarters - to conduct any business.
The word is going around that the driver's license will single you out as an illegal. Maybe, but so what? Not having a driver's license if you were pulled over would do the same, and land you in much deeper trouble.
After all, what percentage of Irish would get pulled over in the first place? A tiny one for sure. And what percentage of New York traffic cops would care what your status was as long as they wrote the ticket? Probably zero.
In other words, getting one of the new licenses next year is a much better step than not having one at all.
While it is undeniably disappointing that Spitzer has had to alter his original plan, the reality is that he now has a definite framework to make the driver's license issue work
New President of ILIR
JEFF Cleary, who has taken over as president of the Irish Lobby for Immigration reform is a well-known figure in the Irish community as well as one of the leading Irish American Republicans statewide.