NYS Decision in suit on license requirements for immigrants

Monday, May 23, 2005

Justice Karen S. Smith issued an Amended decision and order (19 pp) which supercedes the May 9, 2005 decision and order. (See below link.)

PRLDEF is pleased to have won on its key arguments in seeking preliminary injunctive relief against the NYS DMV in Cubas v. Martinez. However, the court's order is stayed from enforcement as the DMV Commissioner has announced his intention to file an appeal. Please advise your constituents that one who has no proof of legal status should NOT go to the DMV offices seeking a renewal license or new license . The DMV's legal presence policy and procedures were found to be illegal and created beyond the DMV Commissioner's proper authority, and thus enjoined by the court. However, due to the expected filing of an appeal DMV will not make any changes consistent with this court order. Pending this appeal, we do not believe that the DMV will initiate suspension orders for the 252,000+ NYS license and non-driver ID holders who received DMV's Social Security verification request letters throughout 2004.

Please contact PRLDEF if you are aware of any DMV-issued threatened suspensions based on SSN or immigration status issues.

The court's opinion is worth reading in full. We are concerned that some of the recent media and press coverage may have included inaccurate or incomplete information and conclusions. This is unfortunately inevitable when complex legal issues and quick deadlines coincide, etc.

PRLDEF has a 24 hour recorded message giving updates to the public: 212.739.7584 in English and 212.739.7495 in Spanish. Feel free to circulate these numbers.