SEWARD VOTES WITH PARTY
ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, today joined other members of the Senate Republican Conference in bringing an amendment to the floor to repeal of the so-called “Green Light” Law, his office announced a few minutes ago.
With all members of the Democratic majority voting against repeal, the measure failed.
“I voted against the ‘Green Light Law’ last year because the thought of giving a driver’s license, a secure identification document, to someone who is intentionally breaking the law was inconceivable,” Seward said in a statement after the vote.
“Now we are seeing additional consequences of this bad public policy – putting law enforcement agents and the public at risk while allowing dangerous criminals to avoid detection,” he said. “We cannot wait any longer to repeal this dangerous law.”
Earlier this week, Seward and other Republican senators were briefed by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials on how the “Green Light” Law has blocked the state Department of Motor Vehicles from providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other federal agencies with DMV data.
“Sharing of information is critical for law enforcement and New York has shut down a key tool to stop human trafficking, drug smuggling, and gang activity. It is only a matter of time before the ‘Green Light’ Law leads to a real tragedy,” added Seward.
The so-called “Green Light Law” (S1747B) passed the senate and was signed into law last year, allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses. Citing national security concerns, DHS suspended New Yorkers’ eligibility to enrolled in “Trusted Traveler” programs, which expedite border crossings.
According to the Republicans, Governor Cuomo has changed his position on what may be shared with federal agencies. However, Seward pointed out the governor cannot single-handedly change a policy he signed into law; the state Legislature must do so.