From the Morning Memo:

The effort to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants pushed forward this week as the New York City Council backed a resolution in support of the measure.

Sen. Luis Sepúlveda in an email to supporters on Thursday called the issue “human right” to be able to drive a car without the fear of being stopped over identification.

“It is exposure that immigrants do not want to have and with reasonable protest, this is why this bill is so important to me,” said Sepúlveda, a lawmaker from the Bronx. “The community needs to feel safe in their everyday activities, being an immigrant does not hinder that common goal that we all have.”

The driver’s license issue resurfaced last year during the gubernatorial election, with advocates pushing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to backed the bill.

The measure was controversial a decade ago when proposed by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who ultimately backed off amid opposition from Democrats, including then-Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul. Now the lieutenant governor, Hochul has since shifted her position on the issue in support of it.

Nevertheless, local government officials like the county clerks who run motor vehicle offices around the state, remain opposed to the bill.

Sen. Jim Tedisco, a Republican from the Capital Region, introduced legislation this week that would add legal protections for county clerks who refuse to grant the licenses to undocumented immigrants. The bill would bar the governor from removing county clerks and have the state pay their legal fees if taken to court.