Updated: January 14, 2020 05:58 PM
Created: January 14, 2020 05:54 PM
(WHEC) — Law enforcement agencies all across the state were given a choice recently: Either agree to obey the newly enacted Green Light Law, or be "suspended" from using the Department of Motor Vehicle's computer system.
The Green Light Law, which went into effect back in December, allows undocumented immigrants to apply for, and obtain a driver's license.
Now, law enforcement agencies are being forced to sign what's being called the "DMV Photo System Agreement", and according to Jim VanBrederode, Head of the Monroe County Police Chief's Association it's not going over well.
"For a police department to function those are very important records that we need for public safety, as well as the commuting public who needs that data for accident reports, and traffic enforcement," VanBrederode said.
All agencies had until this past Saturday to sign the agreement which states, local police can no longer share information of any interactions with undocumented immigrants with federal immigration officers.
Vanbrederode, who is also the Gates Police Chief says he was given only 48-hours to sign the agreement.
Critics of the new law say this can stand in the way of immigration officials, and border patrol from arresting dangerous criminals. In the case of a traffic stop, for example, border agents can no longer ask local police to help them with certain information.
"It’s my understanding from talking from people from border patrol they can no longer run a license plate, they no longer can run somebody's license," VanBrederode said.
In fact the chief puts the blame squarely on Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
He went on to say, "This is a political issue between him and the federal government. President Trump, that he is taking out, using law enforcement, local law enforcement chiefs that he can control to get back at the feds."
For the most part all local agencies according to VanBrederode signed the agreement.
"I can tell you that most all the agencies in Monroe County, yes under duress, blackmail. We did sign these agreements, but it was for the good of our communities, and for the good of public safety," VanBrederode said.
Janine Kava, a spokeswoman for the Division of Criminal Justice Services confirmed to News10NBC, that 59 law enforcement agencies are still blocked from using the state's DMV computers.
She says they will have their access restored once they sign the DMV Photo System Agreement. Those departments have not been identified as of Tuesday afternoon.
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