New York Makes Sharing DMV Info a Felony – Hides New Law in State Budget
By David Jaroslav | FAIR Take | May 2020
Buried in New York’s state budget, adopted in April, is a provision that makes it a felony for state and local law enforcement to report Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) information to federal immigration authorities.
In 2019, the “Green Light" bill was signed into law giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. This provision takes that law from bad to worse. Even more disturbing is they snuck this change into the budget, suggesting it could never have passed as a standalone bill even in the liberal Empire State. Especially since polls showed sizeable majorities of New Yorkers opposed the Green Light Law in the first place.
The “Green Light” law, as amended by this budget provision, prohibits sharing DMV information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), “and any successor agencies having similar duties.” State or local law enforcement officers who defy this ban face being charged with a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in state prison.
Sharing DMV information with immigration authorities will now be in the same category of crimes in New York as Third Degree Rape, Fourth Degree Arson, Luring A Child, and even Criminally Negligent Homicide.
J.P. Kennedy, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, described the change to state law as “legislating obstruction” and “a recipe for disaster.”
Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw (R), who has opposed the law since it first passed, condemned the law further, saying “Governor Cuomo and radical progressives care more about illegal immigrants than police. It is sick to pass this law that favors the lives of illegals ahead of law enforcement under the cloak and cover of COVID-19. … Insane. Stupid. Outrageous. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how despicable this new law is. Our men and women in uniform are tasked with keeping us safe. Now Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers want to put handcuffs on cops, turning them into criminals for doing their job.”
And former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, now a Senior Fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said he was “going to personally appeal to the president to get DOJ to sue New York state … I think New York state is beyond the pale. I mean, my 35 years of doing this job where the governor wants to pit state law enforcement against [federal] law enforcement. … And notice, they do it during a pandemic. They take advantage of a pandemic to push a radical agenda.”