In his battle against New York State’s Green Light Law, which allows illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses, Erie County Clerk, Mickey Kearns, has installed ICE tip line signs in county DMV offices. DMV workers are prohibited by state law from reporting illegal immigrants to federal authorities. However, other people can, so Kearns is posting signs which read “If You SEE Something SAY Something Report Suspicious Activity 1-866-DHS-2ICE.” Niagara County Clerk, Joseph Jastrzemski, is doing the same in Niagara County DMV offices.
The NYS Clerks’ Association also met in Syracuse this week to discuss the controversial Green Light Law. Thirteen clerks met with federal officials to discuss their options while another ten clerks participated by phone.
Kearns who lost the first round in his lawsuit against the state over the Green Light Law, is appealing the decision. The United States Justice Department filed a brief this week opposing the bill. The department stated the new law requires NYS officials to notify subjects of requests from ICE even though “providing such notification would endanger the lives of law enforcement personnel or the public.” The brief also “notes that there is a significant question whether the Act conflicts with federal law,” which several county clerks have said all along.
Rensselaer County Executive Steven F. McLaughlin and Rensselaer County Clerk Frank J. Merola have also filed a lawsuit against the state over the Green Light Law.