Dinolfo, Bello go to Albany to voice concern over licenses for undocumented immigrants

June 17, 2019 01:56 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The two people running for county executive of Monroe County are in Albany together because of one of the most controversial ideas in the state right now. 

It's the idea of giving driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. 


This is a county issue because clerk's offices process the application for a drivers license. News10NBC wanted to know from the two candidates: Where do you stand on this issue? What are you going to tell the state senators when you see them today? 

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean met County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and County Clerk Adam Bello just before 7 a.m. Monday at the park and ride at St. John Fisher College.

Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Where do you stand on the issue?"
Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive: "I'm against issuing licenses for illegal immigrants who are here without legal status. We are a nation of laws and there are millions and millions of citizens who came to this country and followed the procedure and followed the rules and became American citizens."

Brean: "Where do you stand on this issue?"
Adam Bello, Monroe County Clerk: "I have a number concerns about the legislation that was passed last week and is being considered this week, particularly around the sanctity of the documents that are being used and the security of them to prove identity."

The state Assembly passed its bill last week. The lawmakers call it the "Green Light" bill. 

Every local Republican voted no. 

  • Hawley
  • Lawrence
  • Manktelow
  • Kolb
  • Byrnes
  • Johns

Every local Democrat voted yes. 

  • Romeo
  • Bronson

Assemblyman David Gantt was excused and did not vote. 

In 2007, when she was county clerk, Dinolfo says she and other clerks sued then-Governor Eliot Spitzer when he tried to do this. And she says she's going to show that lawsuit to state senators Monday. 

Dinolfo: "So I brought that with me as well for the legal basis of our argument. But also the concerns of Monroe County residents."

Bello: "Well I'm going to tell them that my concern is over the security of the documents to be able to verify what they are, where they came from and make sure those are real documents that are being shown us to prove who people are."

An organization called the Migration Policy Institute says there are 940,000 undocumented people in New York state. Twelve states and Washington D.C. allow licenses to undocumented immigrants. 

The states are: 

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

The legislative session ends Wednesday.


Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.