dhs strikes deal with new york on driver’s licenses

dhs strikes deal with new york on driver's licensesfrom newsday: The Bush administration and New York cut a deal Saturday to create a new generation of super-secure driver’s licenses for U.S. citizens, but also allow illegal immigrants to get a version.

New York is the fourth state to reach such an agreement on federally approved secure licenses, after Arizona, Vermont and Washington. The issue is pressing for border states, where new and tighter rules are soon to go into effect for crossings.

The deal comes about one month after New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a plan whereby illegal immigrants with a valid foreign passport could obtain a license.

Saturday’s agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York. It is the largest state to sign on so far to the government’s post-Sept. 11 effort to make identification cards more secure.

Spitzer, who has faced much criticism on the issue, said the deal means New York “will usher in the most secure licensing system in the nation.”