Statement From Senate Republican Leader Flanagan
Democrats in New York created a backdoor Sanctuary state policy when they enacted the Green Light law to give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses. It is solely because of Democrats’ desire to protect illegal immigrants that the Department of Homeland Security-run Trusted Travelers programs are being halted.
Governor Cuomo and his allies in the Democrat Senate Majority believe that New York is being targeted by the federal administration -- but as it turns out New York has outdone California. While pointing to a limited number of blue states which issue licenses to illegal immigrants, New York Democrats fail to mention that federal authorities are not prohibited from accessing DMV data. Even California has two agreements in place to share data with ICE.
While New York vies to be the most liberal, it failed to listen to ICE’s plea for access too. ICE has used the DMV database to apprehend criminals including gang members, drug traffickers, child predators, and fentanyl and opioid smugglers.
The Senate Republican Conference did not support the Green Light bill, and we warned of these issues. Democrats did not listen.
In the meantime New York businesses will suffer financial loss, particularly in Western New York, so that Democrats can create policies to put criminals first. DHS cannot be expected to do its job without access to the tools they need.