Citing lessons learned from 9/11, Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matt Albence was highly critical of the state of New York for putting lives at risk by locking federal immigration authorities out of Department of Motor Vehicles databases.
An advantage the Democrat-run state still grants to Canadian law enforcement.
“Information is the lifeblood of law enforcement,” Albence told Fox News. “If we learned anything from 9/11 it’s that information needs to be shared quickly and fully, and what this has done is to roll back the clock. This is a pre-9/11 mentality in a post-9/11 world and it’s dangerous.”
New York’s controversial “Green Light Law” giving illegal immigrants drivers licenses went into effect in January, and the law forbids state DMV agencies from sharing any data with ICE and Customs and Border Protection.
In addition, police departments in the state received a memorandum stating that if they share DMV data with ICE or CBP, the department would be cut off entirely from DMV records, according to Fox News.
But sharing the same information with Canada is acceptable.
“Drivers’ licenses, car registrations, all that is part of the same database and they’re frozen out under the Green Light Law,” Albence said. “All of those are critical and what is unbelievable is that the state of New York continues to give that information to Canadian law enforcement, but they won’t share with their own law enforcement in this country.”
As Fox News noted, in addition to immigration, ICE is involved in other crimes such as human smuggling, drug trafficking and narcotics cases.
“The free flow of information is critical because there’s a lot of cross-border crime, so it’s understandable and we do this across the country where states share with foreign law enforcement partners,” Albence added. “What’s unique about this, and incredible that they do this, is that they continue to share that information with those foreign law enforcement partners, while at the same time freezing out our domestic law enforcement partners.”
In the video below, ICE New York Field Office Director Thomas Decker said the laws in the state make it “a dangerous place to live.”
In the same video, Niagara County Acting Sheriff Michael Filicetti said the Green Light Law “inhibits our ability to do our job.” Niagara County is on the border with Canada.
In response to New York’s actions, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf suspended enrollment in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) for New York residents.
Wolf said in a letter to state officials the ill-advised law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for TTP membership meets program eligibility requirements.”
“An aspect of the law which I’m most concerned about is that it prohibits the DMV from providing ICE and CBP with important data used in law enforcement, trade, travel, and homeland security,” he said. “ICE uses the information as they investigate and build cases against terrorists, and criminals who commit child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and financial crimes. Unfortunately, because of this law, they can no longer do that.”
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