Bail reform is not the only new law in New York state that is causing issues.

The Green Light legislation is also irking many, especially those in the law enforcement community.

The Green Light law allows undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses, but it has further actions that are causing unrest.

The issue of whether undocumented immigrants should be given driver's licenses is not what is at dispute here. Although there is quite a bit of division on that issue alone.

Many feel simply that undocumented immigrants should not be given such privileges, while others feel why not let them drive since they are already here, and perhaps having a license will allow them to actually contribute to society easier.

The problem with the Green Light law is an addendum that local law enforcement agencies must sign onto an agreement that they will not share Department of Motor Vehicle data with any federal law enforcement agencies that enforce immigration standards.

If they don't sign, they will not be granted access to valuable DMV information.

DMV information has been known to help law enforcement identify all kinds of illegal activity. It has been used and shared by cooperating agencies for decades.

It is an extremely important tool that would be taken away, and law enforcement, and the public, is understandably upset.

As reported by our CNHI Albany Correspondent Joe Mahoney this week, law enforcement was given a deadline of last Saturday to sign off on the agreement to not share DMV data with the feds unless there is a specific legal agreement.

More than 50 law enforcement agencies statewide have yet to sign, leaving them out in the cold as far as access to the DMV computerized records.

This is troubling for so many reasons.

It pits New York state law enforcement agencies against federal agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Law enforcement needs to work collaboratively to solve and prevent many crimes, and such a hamstring can turn out to be a disaster.

Imagine if a crime could have been prevented, but wasn't because local police were not allowed to work with federal agencies and share vital information.

There would be huge public outcry.

The need for law enforcement collaboration is especially important in the North Country where local agencies are often called to work with federal outfits since we are so close to the Canadian border.

Forcing state law enforcement to withhold information from the feds also does little to help in the way of providing effective immigration control.

The state has put law enforcement in a very difficult spot, and much like the Bail Reform laws, this Green Light legislation needs to be looked at again and adjusted.

There has to be a way that illegal immigration can be monitored and enforced without handcuffing local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Let's hope state lawmakers can figure it out quick.

 

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