New York is the only state in the nation that currently does not comply with the regulations key to protecting our nation from a potential terrorist attack in a post 9/11 world.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis has been assigned by Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay to lead the charge in the Assembly Minority’s efforts to get access to the State’s DMV Database restored for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies that use it to secure our homeland, stop nefarious acts and initiate criminal investigations. The access was lost following the passage of the highly-controversial Green Light Law passed last year under one party Democratic rule and signed by Governor Cuomo that provides driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants but prohibits Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from accessing the database to initiate investigations. Malliotakis was briefed today by the DHS, U.S. ICE agents as well as federal CBP security officers.
A press conference was held immediately following a briefing by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detailing how the state’s “Green Light Law” has prohibited the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from providing critical information to DHS and other law-enforcement agencies.
The statistics surrounding the long-standing, cooperative relationship between ICE and the state DMV are staggering; on a daily basis, ICE uses DMV data to fight a substantial criminal element smuggling drugs and sex workers into the country. In 2019, ICE arrested 149 child predators, seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, identified or rescued 105 victims of human trafficking/exploitation and arrested 230 gang members – all in New York alone. To intentionally disrupt this relationship now is irresponsible. In order to identify and dismantle dangerous and illegal activity such as this, it is critical that the right information get into the right hands at the right time.
The Department of Homeland Security says 80,000 New Yorkers who applied for the Trusted Traveler Program are now prevented from being approved, and the agency anticipates up to 200,000 New York residents will seek to renew membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler Program in 2020, but will be unable to. Additionally, 30,000 commercial truck drivers enrolled in the FAST program and four New York-Canada ports of entry are also impacted.
“New York is the only state in the nation that currently does not comply with the regulations key to protecting our nation from a potential terrorist attack in a post 9/11 world. Fourteen other states provide driver’s licenses to those in the country illegally and those 14 other states comply with DHS requirements without an issue,” said Malliotakis. “Shockingly, New York’s law also requires that the Department of Motor Vehicles notify the license holder within three days when a law enforcement agency has requested their personal information for an investigation, and prohibits local law enforcement from sharing information with federal partners.”
“The insights we gained today from the experts working through these dangerous policies were eye opening and startling,” said Barclay. “Obstructions to the federal law-enforcement community are putting officers at risk and making it harder to stop heinous crimes like human trafficking and drug distribution. Clearly, law enforcement agencies at every level must be given unfettered access to the data they need, otherwise their ability to protect and serve is diminished.”
“The Green Light Law’ is dangerous. We cannot forget the lessons of 9/11. I am proud to organize this briefing to educate Albany lawmakers about how this law threatens everything the Department of Homeland Security was created to do to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Reed.