Press Releases

Adverse Court Ruling Highlights Importance of Centering the Immigrant Experience in NYS Driver’s License Case


Adverse Court Ruling Highlights Importance of Centering the Immigrant Experience in NYS Driver’s License Case

New York, NY

CONTACT: Christiaan Perez,, 212-739-7591

New York, NY – The Federal District Court for the Western District of New York on Wednesday issued a decision denying without prejudice a motion by the New York Immigration Coalition, Rural & Migrant Ministry, Hispanic Federation, and four individual non-citizen residents of New York to intervene in defense of a lawsuit brought by the Erie County Clerk challenging New York’s newly enacted Green Light Law which would permit non-citizen residents to obtain a drivers’ license in the case of Kearns v. Cuomo et al. LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Arnold & Porter represent the proposed intervenors.

Below is a statement from José Pérez, Deputy General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, responding to the development:

“Yesterday’s ruling highlights how imperative it is that New York’s Attorney General Leticia James continues to keep the immigrant experience in mind as the legal battle proceeds. The Green Light Law passed the legislative process with overwhelming public support, highlighting that New Yorkers know that the law is vital for our state. Attorney General James has publicly stated that the law is constitutional as written and that she will vigorously defend the statute from any and all legal challenges. The frivolous lawsuits brought by the Erie County clerk and others for suspect motivations seeking to delay the forthcoming implementation of this law are baseless. LatinoJustice and our partner organizations will continue to work with the NYAG and support their efforts to defend immigrant New Yorkers’ rights to drive, take care of their families, and thrive in our state, without the fear of prosecution while doing so,” said José Pérez, Deputy General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

Background Materials:

  1. Decision and Order on Motion to Intervene in NYS Drivers License Case
  2. Press Release on Motion to Intervene to Defend New Driver's Licenses Legislation in Erie County vs. New York State lawsuit
  3. Filed Intervention to Defend NYS Drivers Licenses


LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more than 40 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout New York and beyond. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit