‘I can think of no law that would be more dangerous to our officers and our agents…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The Trump administration’s top immigration official implored the State of New York to reverse its Green Light Law, which prohibits state and local law enforcement officials from sharing motor vehicle data with immigration authorities.
The Green Light Law puts on-the-ground agents in danger, said Matthew Albence, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Joined by dozens of state and local law enforcement officials, Albence urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to reverse the law.
“It is dangerous to the public, and it is dangerous to our officers and agents who are currently at a greater risk of harm because they lack access to this data,” Albence said during a press conference. “In fact, short of taking our guns away, I can think of no law that would be more dangerous to our officers and our agents.”
The law also allows illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, which unnecessarily endangers lawful citizens, Albence said, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
Albence explained that access to motor vehicle information can make all the difference when an officer or agent is tracking a suspect and needs real time data.
Immigration officials aren’t asking New York to hand over a list of illegal immigrants, Albence said.
“We do targeted enforcement actions,” he continued. “I don’t need the state of New York to tell me who is here illegally and who is not. That’s what we’re trained to do, that’s what our jobs are.”
In response to Cuomo’s refusal to take action, the Department of Homeland Security blocked New York residents from applying for Trusted Traveler programs, which allow vetted citizens to quickly pass through security check lanes at border checkpoints and in airports.
Cuomo then turned around and accused the federal government of trying to “extort” New York into changing its law.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, issued a statement in support of Albence and the federal immigration officials “who continue to share their concerns” about Cuomo’s Green Light Law.
“Today, law enforcement officers were extremely clear,” she said. “The Green Light Law will result in injury or worse to ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and Border Patrol officers who are trying to do their job to keep our communities safe by stopping human and drug trafficking across our border and heinous crimes against children.”