New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lost the memory of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to the president of a major police union in the state.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spearheaded a news briefing Thursday in Troy, New York, to warn about the ramifications of the “Green Light” law, new statewide legislation that prohibits departments of motor vehicles from sharing information with ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The event included numerous law enforcement officials from across the state, all of whom spoke about the law’s dangerous consequences.
One individual was particularly critical of Cuomo for signing the bill into law.
“It’s amazing to me that we stand in the very state where not too long ago, on Sept. 11 2001, terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and brought it down,” said Patrick Phelan, police chief in the town of Greece, near Rochester, and president of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police.
“The biggest critique of law enforcement after those events out of the 9/11 Commission was the failure of state, local and federal law enforcement to share information,” he continued. “I’ve been here for the last 20 years. I’ve watched the amazing advances that we’ve made in that vein — sharing information with our state, local and federal partners. …
“There is a sign on the back of every one of my police cars that says, ‘Never forget.’ Never forget 9/11. We made that pledge that day — you were there, you remember. We made that pledge to never forget.
“I’m telling you that Governor Cuomo, and his friends that make laws in New York state, have forgotten.”
On February 20, 2020 NYSACOP President Chief Patrick Phelan represented our membership at Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office press event regarding New York’s Green Light Law. Pictured are Chief Phelan speaking and with Matthew Albence, Acting Director of US ICE. pic.twitter.com/wkQdF8Cqwl
— NY Chiefs (@NYSACOP) February 21, 2020
The comments were a sharp rebuke to the state’s new “Green Light” law, which not only allows illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses but also restricts what information state DMVs can provide to ICE and CBP.
The two agencies have come out adamantly against the law, saying the information is vital for conducting their day-to-day businesses to protect communities. Because you can only obtain driving under the influence and aggravated traffic offense records through the DMV, the Department of Homeland Security said it had no choice but to revoke trusted traveler benefits for New York residents.
Cuomo and President Donald Trump met earlier this month to discuss a possible compromise, but no agreement has been reached.
Earlier during the event Thursday, ICE acting director Matthew Albence broke down just how much his agency has done to fight crime.
He said ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Division arrested 373 criminal gang members, seized close to 6,500 pounds of narcotics, made 149 arrests of individuals who committed crimes of child exploitation, and rescued 105 victims of human trafficking and child exploitation — all in the state of New York alone.
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Albence also told the story of an 18-month-old child who was being sexually molested by her father, with the act being live-streamed on the internet. ICE was able to apprehend the father hours within obtaining pertinent information from a state DMV.
“Thankfully it wasn’t in New York or that child would still be sexually assaulted as we speak,” Albence said.
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