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Green Light law

‘Trusted Traveler’ Revocations Aside, ‘Green Light’ Bad Law

EDITORIAL

‘Trusted Traveler’

Revocations Aside,

‘Green Light’ Bad Law

The second hijacked smashes into the World Trade Center’s South Tower on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The 19 hijackers had 30 driver’s licenses from five states. Reforms that followed to increase inter-agency communications are threatened by New York State’s new “Green Light” Law, Acting Deputy Homeland Security Director Ken Cuccinelli says.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the 19 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon, or crashed in Schwenksville, Pa., had 30 driver’s licenses among them that allowed them to gain access to and hijack the four jets.

Nineteen licenses were from Florida, eight from Virginia, one each from Arizona and Maryland, plus two from California that were issued to two “watchlisted” participants.

None were from our state’s DMV, but if such a national catastrophe were to occur again, it could be different.

Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli referenced that last Thursday, Feb. 10, in answering reporters’ questions on his department’s decision to exclude New Yorkers from four “Trusted Traveler” programs after the passage of the state’s “Green Light” Law, which prohibits state law enforcement agencies from sharing routine DMV data with immigration agencies.

The programs give pre-approved travelers and trucking companies no-wait entry in to the U.S. The decision means 80,000
New Yorkers who have applied for the status won’t be approved, and 175,000 already approved will lose their status as their five-year passes expire.

“It was embarrassing to us in Virginia, that (many) of the 9/11 terrorists used Virginia driver’s licenses to help accomplish their evil mission, and we set about to fix that, and we did fix that,” said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli fielded reporters’ questions on removing New Yorkers from “Trusted Traveler” eligibility.

New York is “one of the other targets of 9/11 that is walking backwards, quite intentionally, … to bar the sharing of law-enforce-
ment-relevant information like vehicle registration, matching driver’s licenses to identifications, and critically, criminal records that are kept up to date and DMV databases.”

As stated here before, the “Green Light” legislation, granting a legal document to people who are in the U.S. illegally, is illogical on its face, evident to the 62 percent of New Yorkers who opposed it in a Siena Poll.

Plus, the Democratic majority folded it into the vote on the state budget, avoiding public hearings and on-the-floor discussion where the benefits and deficits would have become clear.

The law forced county clerks who run DMV offices, like Otsego’s Kathy Sinnot Gardner, to disobey either state law or federal law, contrary to their oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States AND the Constitution of the State of New York.” (Emphasis added.)

Since DMV applications are automatically forwarded to the state Board of Elections, where they are processed routinely, the “Green Light” at least gives an amber to voter fraud.

The law in place, the DMV and state Division of Criminal Justice Service then ordered local police to sign a “pledge” not to share any related information with federal agencies; obdurate police would be denied access to DMV records, essential to ensure someone stopped for speeding isn’t wanted for shooting a cop downstate.

County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., called that “blackmail,” reported Joe Mahoney, Albany correspondent for Plattsburgh’s, Niagara Falls’ and other Upstate papers, who broke the story statewide. “I signed the agreement with displeasure because it would really affect our officers here if we were not to have access to this data,” Devlin told Mahoney.

All this just isn’t right.

Supporters of the “Green Light” Law argue that because of the vast number of illegal immigrants in New York State – in 2014 there were 4.4 million in New York State, an estimated 22 percent of the population – this is a necessary safety measure, ensuring they pass the driver’s test and have insurance.

Still, to anyone who watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, visited the chilling 911 Memorial & Museum in New York City’s financial district, or listened to Cuccinelli the other afternoon, the justification rings hollow. Should every law be repealed if it’s flouted? Should any?

The answer to illegal immigration is much larger than the “Green Light” Law, requiring well-regulated borders and likely a humane path to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding immigrants. (A massive expulsion would be a human rights disaster.) But that’s a separate discussion.

Democrats have characterized Homeland Security’s decision as a reprisal by the Trump Administration: In his State of the Nation speech the night before it came down, the president singled out California and New York State as states where “sanctuary” communities are putting the law-abiding general public at risk.

But with Monday the 10th’s announcement of action against the state of New Jersey and the county that includes Seattle, Wash., it appears to be part of a larger push-back against the whole concept of “sanctuaries” – one that’s long overdue.

In New York State, according to the Center for Immigrant Studies, the cities of New York City and Ithaca, and five counties, are sanctuaries. However, that doesn’t include Cooperstown, where a Village Board resolution from 2017 declares village police won’t cooperate with ICE investigations that may occur locally; now, it may make sense for the trustees to withdraw that ill-considered resolution.

Whether reprisal or prudent governance, the right course is clear: The “Green Light” Law should be repealed on the merits. That the state’s economy will now suffer and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face travel delays are an added impetus for the state Legislature to do the right thing.

Instead of rethinking where we are and returning to a more sensible course, state Attorney General Letitia James, also on Monday, filed suit accusing the Trump Administration of using “our nation’s security as a political weapon.” Rather, is New York State simply risking our nation’s security to ride an ideological hobby horse?

As for the governor, he said “more than a dozen states – including red states – (have) similar laws.” He knows better. While other states grant licenses to undocumented immigrants, they didn’t include the most objectionable provision: barring cooperation with federal agencies. Washington State is considering that clause, but now may change its mind.

Contrary, it seems, to county clerks and sheriffs, the governor and attorney general are entitled to their own opinions. Neither is up for reelection in November, but the state Legislature is: 62 percent of voters should hold their representatives accountable on this issue. Turn off the “Green Light.”

New Yorkers Can’t Be ‘Trusted Travelers’ Due To ‘Green Light’ Law

CLICK TO READ FULL ABC REPORT

New Yorkers Can’t Be

‘Trusted Travelers’ Due

To ‘Green Light’ Law

Ban Complicates Crossing Borders For Many
Cuccinelli

WASHINGTON – New York residents will be cut off from “trusted traveler” programs that enable people to quickly return from outside the country because of the state’s new “Green Light” law that prevents immigration officials from accessing motor-vehicle records, ABC News and other outlets are reporting today.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers whose applications for the programs are pending or will have to renew their enrollment by the end of the year will have to undergo customs and passport checks as they enter the country as a result of the action, said Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

‘Green Light’ Law Over Hurdle, Will Be Enforced, State AG Says

‘Green Light’ Law Over Hurdle,

Will Be Enforced, State AG Says

Letitia James

ALBANY — A few minutes ago, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced U.S. District Gary L. Sharpe today granted her office’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola that sought to block the state’s “Green Light” Law from taking effect.

She said the law is “legal and enforceable” and efforts by county clerks to stop it “meritless.”

The law, which is scheduled to go into effect Monday, “will help make our roads safer, our economy stronger, and will allow immigrants to come out of the shadows to sign up as legal drivers in our state.”

In November, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford similarly dismissed a suit brought forth by Erie County Clerk Michael (Mickey) Kearns to block implementation of the law.

County Clerks Make 11th-Hour Plea: Turn Off Green-Light Law

County Clerks Make

11th-Hour Plea: Turn

Off Green-Light Law

On Monday, They Must Issue

NY Licenses To Illegal Aliens

Sinnott Gardner

COOPERSTOWN — Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner has joined 26 other county clerks who today urged Governor Cuomo and DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder to delay implementing the state’s Green Light Law until next Oct. 1 “for the safety and security of all New Yorkers.”

The new law, which allows people in the U.S. illegally to obtain New York State driver’s licenses, is due to go into effect Monday.

In a statement, the county clerks issued a statement declaring the state DMC “failed to provide regulations that would ensure the integrity of the identification process” of applicants seeking driver’s licenses.

The protesting clerks including all officers of the state Association of County Clerks.

CLICK HERE FOR RELATED DEVELOPMENTS
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against ‘Green Light’ Law

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit

Against ‘Green Light’ Law

Way Open For Illegal Immigrants To Drive

ALBANY — New York Attorney General Letitia James today hailed the U.S. District Court affirmation of the “Green Light” law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

The decision by Judge Elizabeth Wolford dismissed a lawsuit brought by Erie County Clerk Michael (Mickey) Kearns, and supported by 34 county clerks across the state, including Otsego County’s Kathy Sinnott Gardner.

SEWARD: No ‘Green Light’ Law As Loose As This One

COLUMN

VIEW FROM ALBANY

No ‘Green Light’ Law

As Loose As This One

By State Sen. JIM SEWARD, R-Milford • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ALBANY – While the 2019 state legislative session concluded  several weeks ago, discussion continues to swirl around one of the more controversial new measures approved this year – the so-called “Green Light” law.

he new law, which formally takes effect on Dec. 14, 2019, would permit illegal/undocumented immigrants to apply for standard driver’s licenses using forms of foreign identification. The majority of New Yorkers are against the idea and prior to the Senate vote on the bill, I heard from a great number of constituents who voiced strident opposition.

13 States Have Made ‘Green Law’ Work – Why Not New York
Letter from CHIP NORTHRUP

13 States Have Made

‘Green Law’ Work –

Why Not New York

To the Editor:

State law governs the issuance of driver’s licenses.  Since 1993, 13 states and D.C. have issued licenses to residents – i.e. some of them could be illegal aliens.

This does not give the cardholder the right to vote. In fact, it says that right on the card.

What  it does is bring them into compliance concerning requirements for car insurance, car registration, and traffic tickets, all the regulations that are pertinent to what they’re doing – driving a car.

In other states, they are called “privilege cards” and are not valid IDs for voting.

Voter registration laws are likewise handled by the states, and so-called “motor voter” laws effectively register anyone with a license – that is a valid ID for voting – to vote. If their license is not a valid ID for voting, they don’t get registered.

Not that complicated to sort out any misunderstandings.

CHIP NORTHRUP

Cooperstown

Assembly Leader Says ‘Green Light’ Resistance ‘Shortsighted, Wrong’

ERIE COUNTY CLERK SINGLED OUT

Assembly Leader Says

‘Green Light’ Resistance

‘Shortsighted, Wrong’

Carl Heastie

ALBANY – Efforts by New York’s county clerks to clarify their responsibilities to the U.S. Constitution in regards to the “Green Light” bill are “shortsighted and just plain wrong,” Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie declared in a statement released today.

He singled out Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, who went to federal court Monday evening seeking an injunction against the bill, which would require county clerks like Otsego’s Kathy Sinnott Gardner who run state DMV offices to issue driver’s licenses to undocumented residents/illegal aliens.

Here’s is Heastie’s full statement:

‘Green Light’ Bill Facing Clerks’ Anger

‘Green Light’ Bill

Facing Clerks’ Anger

By JIM KEVLIN• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Sinnot Gardner

COOPERSTOWN – By presstime, no word had been received from President Trump’s regional representation on whether the Justice Department will go to court to stop New York State’s “Green Light” law from going into effect Dec. 14.

The “Green Light” law would require the state’s county clerks who operate state Department of Motor Vehicle offices locally to issue driver’s licenses to what some people call undocumented residents and other call illegal aliens.

Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner wrote the first letter to Trump last week, asking the president to direct the Justice Department to intervene.  Within two or three days, 35 county clerks in all, including Otsego County’s Kathy Sinnott Gardner, he written similar letters.

All but one were Republicans, Hayner said in an interview.  The sole Democrat was the Oneida County clerk, Sandy Deperno.

According to Sinnot Gardner, the president of the state County Clerks Association, Judith Hunter of Steuben County, has summoned members to a meeting July 8 in Syracuse.  The local clerk said she plans to attend, and will say more about the issue after that.

Hayner’s letter to Trump said that, while other states have similar laws allowing undocumented or illegal residents to get driver’s licenses, none have gone as far as the bill passed by the Democratic state Legislature this year and signed by Governor Cuomo.

It prohibits the state’s county clerks from sharing any driver’s-license information with federal immigration authorities.  Since county clerks take oaths to administer both the state and U.S. Constitutions, Hayner believes the new law is requiring clerks to break one law or the other.

Sinnot Garner agrees, but has another concern.  The state DMV installed “customer facing devices” in county DMV offices a few months ago, where driver’s-license applicants are required to check a box indicating if they have registered to vote or not.

If someone checks the “no” box, his or her material is sent automatically to the county Board of Elections, which registers them, the Otsego clerk said, without knowing if they are citizens or not.

 

Otsego Clerk Asks Trump: Turn Off  ‘Green Light’ Law

35 CLERKS WRITE TO PRESIDENT

Otsego Clerk Asks

Trump: Turn Off

 ‘Green Light Law’

She Also Worries Illegal Immigrants

May Inadvertently Be Allowed To Vote

Gardner

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner said yesterday she has joined 30 county clerks in sending a letter to President Trump, asking him to direct the U.S. Justice Department to go to court to block the state’s new “Green Light Law.”

In an interview, Saratoga County Clerk Chris Hayner said, as of yesterday, that number had risen to 35.  He said all were Republicans, except Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno, a Utica Democrat.

Help Clerks Fight ‘Green Light’ Law, Letter Asks Trump

Help Clerks Fight

‘Green Light’ Law,

Letter Asks Trump

State Requires Actions Against

Constitution, Hayner Declares

Craig Hayner

COOPERSTOWN – Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner, with the concurrence of 30 county clerks across the state, has asked President Trump to ask the Justice Department to go to federal court to determine if New York State’s “Green Light” Law, which goes into effect Dec. 14, is constitutional.

The “Green Light” Law, passed by the Democratic controlled state Legislature, requires county clerks to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  The Otsego County Board of Representatives passed a resolution this month objecting to the bill, and Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner has expressed concern the automatic license-application program will automatically register undocumented residents as voters.

HERE’S COUNTY CLERK’S LETTER TO PRESIDENT

 

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