Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,Ref-Mahopac) attended a press conference this week regarding the Green Light Law (A.3675B) and Gov. Cuomo’s threats to deny law enforcement access to the DMV database. In attendance were members of the State Assembly and Senate and U.S. Congress. The Green Light Law permits illegal immigrants to obtain New York driver’s licenses and prevents federal law enforcement, specifically U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), access to the DMV database for fear it would be used against illegal immigrants by federal immigration law enforcement officials. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other state and local law enforcement agencies are also prevented from sharing the information with CBP or ICE due to signing a non-disclosure agreement with New York state as part of an agreement to obtain access to the DMV records for their own investigative needs.
“This is just another example of legislation which provides special treatment to people who have admittedly violated our nation’s laws,” said Byrne. “I opposed and voted against this bill because we shouldn’t be enabling people who are in our country illegally and violating our laws, nor should we be limiting the information shared between federal and state law enforcement. After hearing directly from high ranking representatives within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, CBP and ICE, I am only further convinced of the dangerousness this law poses to our nation’s security. It eliminates tools and resources that are crucial for Homeland Security investigations. It disregards the unnecessary increased risk posed to officer safety, making their already difficult and dangerous job even more so.
“If you speak with federal law enforcement officials, they’ll tell you that the beginning of every investigation starts with a DMV check. New York state’s Green Light Law is now preventing law enforcement, in New York and around the country, from doing their jobs effectively. In doing so, New York state also increases our nation’s risk by making it easier for foreign nationals to create ‘breeder documents,’ creating false identities. In short, this law has handcuffed our federal law enforcement and compromises not only New York’s public safety, but our entire country’s. It must be changed immediately.”