Shocking amendment to Green Light Law slipped into budget bill during virus crisis
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
New York State officials who provide information about illegal alien drivers to federal immigration enforcement agencies can now face felony charges.
An amendment to the highly controversial ‘Green Light Law,’ which went into effect in December and cleared illegal aliens to apply for New York State driver’s licenses, was slipped into the state’s 2020 budget bill and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
It is now a Class E felony for state officials, such as law enforcement officers, to disclose DMV records with agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
“Border Patrol for example, working the highway in the middle of the night and pulls over a vehicle, they can’t run the plates to determine who owns that vehicle,” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York J.P. Kennedy told WKBW. “I think it’s legislating obstruction and it’s very concerning to me.”
“We’ve seen how important communication and coordination in coming up with a response to the pandemic and sort of causing people to work in isolation it’s a recipe for disaster,” Kennedy continued. “I’m very concerned about this and I think it’s very unfortunate and makes me really question the motives of the individuals that enacted this law, if their professed interest in public safety and public health is really as important as they say they are.”
Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns says the new budget bill “basically criminalize[s]” police work.
“This is shocking. This is unheard of — and especially during a pandemic — that someone, the governor, who is under so much pressure, thought about that to put that in there.”