Spitzer Dumps License Plan for Illegals

New York governor's proposal prompted furor, dive in polls
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2007 9:29 AM CST
New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer speaks at a news conference at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is giving up on the plan to offer driver's licenses to illegal immigrants that drew a firestorm of criticism. “I am not willing to fight to the bitter end on something that will not ultimately be implemented,” he told the New York Times. The proposal became a hot-button issue in presidential candidate forums and caused Spitzer's popularity to plunge.

Hillary Clinton took a beating in the most recent Democratic debate for waffling on the complicated plan, which came to involve several different tiers of licenses as its legality came under attack. Homeland Security said the licenses couldn't be used for airport ID, the state legislature threatened to pull DMV funding, and some county clerks said they'd refuse to issue them.