TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence held a press conference at the Rensselaer County Jail on Thursday. He spoke on the dangers of not allowing Federal Law Enforcement Agents from accessing New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) database.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo and Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo also spoke on how this law is making their employees jobs a lot harder and leaves the public at risk.
The appearance of acting ICE Director Albence comes as law enforcement continues to push for changes to the state’s Green Light Law. The measure blocks Sheriff’s Departments from sharing data from the DMV with federal agencies.
Supporters of the law say that the Department of Homeland Security and ICE already have access to DMV records through warrants in criminal cases. They do not need unfettered access to New Yorkers’ data, they say.
Albence’s news conference started at 11 a.m., streamed from Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo’s office. A protest started outside the jail at 10 a.m.
The coalition says that Russo is one of only 75 sheriffs in the country to collaborate with ICE’s 287g program.
ICE Director Matthew Albence took questions following the press conference. Here are some of the answers.
Question: How do you respond to Governor Cuomo saying the federal agencies would use information from the DMV to deport people?
Question: Governor Cuomo offered a compromise to look at things on a case by case basis, is that a reasonable compromise?
Question: If you had access to the DMV database are you saying you would not use it for enforcement of illegal immigrants?
Question: Have other states with similar ‘Green Light Laws’ restricted you from their DMV databases?
Question: Is there any compromise you would find acceptable between the federal government and New York State?
Question: With at least 10 other states with similar ‘Green Light Laws’ what’s the discrepancy with New York?
Question: To clarify, your teams are going after criminals, not the person that just missed their paperwork by a day or two, you’re going after the rapists, murders, people who are in that community to cause harm?
Question: Have you heard anything about State Police supporting your actions?