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Know Your Rights
Source: New York Post
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

NY Democrats seek citizen rights for illegal immigrants

Illegal aliens in New York could score billions in Medicaid and college tuition money — along with driver’s licenses, voting rights and even the ability to run for office — if Democrats win control of the state Senate in November, The Post has learned.

A little-known bill, dubbed “New York is Home,” would offer the most sweeping amnesty available anywhere in the country to nearly 3 million noncitizens living in the Empire State.

It would bar police from releasing any information about them to the feds, unless it involves a criminal warrant unrelated to their immigration status.

Under the proposed legislation, undocumented immigrants could also apply for professional licenses and serve on juries.

The plan hinges on Democrats — who now control both the governorship and the state Assembly — wresting control of the Senate from Republicans, who oppose immigration amnesty.

Bronx Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who is sponsoring the legislation in the upper chamber, said he thinks the bill would be in position to be passed “if we have a stable Democratic majority in the Senate.”

He also likened his measure to the campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage and medical marijuana.

“It’s something I believe in,” Rivera said Sunday night. “It’s something the state can do and should do.”

Democratic Brooklyn Assemblyman Karim Camara, the chief Assembly sponsor, agreed that taking the Senate was key, saying, “The bill would have a better shot at passing with a Democratic Senate.”

“I look forward [to] having a robust conversation about how significant this bill is.”

But the GOP plans on using the proposal to warn voters how radical New York would become if Democrats take charge.

Republicans are already referring to it as the “illegal immigrants benefits legislation” and will make the bill their poster child in elections in more conservative upstate and suburban districts.

“This bill could pass if the Democrats are in charge of the Senate. They’re out of their minds,” said Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn).

“This is astounding. This undermines our nation’s immigration laws and procedures.”

Said state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long: “This is absolutely amnesty. It disregards the laws of the United States. It’s unconscionable,” Long added.

The bill was introduced during the waning days of the legislative session in June, and is backed by immigrant-rights groups including Make the Road New York, the Center for Popular Democracy, and La Fuente.

GOP officials maintain that amnesty for illegal aliens would open the door to fraud and abuse and increase the risk of terrorism.

For example, the bill would let illegals vote in local and state elections, but they would be barred by federal law from voting for presidential or congressional candidates.

Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed through a new city law that created a municipal ID card that provides some benefits to noncitizens.

Camara, chairman of the New York State Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, insisted that only immigrants who prove they have been living productively would get benefits under his bill.

They would also have to show that they have been living in New York for at least three years and have paid taxes to the state.

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