Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Tuesday, Dec. 31, ordered a review of new laws in New York, New Jersey, and other states that allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses and restrict data sharing with federal immigration authorities.
Wolf ordered all of the components of DHS, which include U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration, to conduct a department study on how the state laws affect its enforcement efforts for both immigration and other investigations into child exploitation, human trafficking, terrorism, sex offenders, and drug smuggling.
“Accordingly, I am instructing each operational component to conduct an assessment of the impact of these laws, so that the department is prepared to deal with and counter these impacts as we protect the homeland,” Wolf’s memo read, according to the Daily Caller.
Green Light Law went into effect last month, making New York the 13th state to authorize licenses for drivers without legal immigration status. Migrants, who can use foreign-issued documents to prove their age and identity, lined up to get documents following the implementation. An estimated 535,000 illegal aliens are living in the city.
New York Gov. Andre Cuomo approved the new law in June, saying that the laws would help lower the number of uninsured people and improve traffic safety. The law also prohibits New York DMV officials from providing information to entities that enforce immigration law unless a judge orders it—an effort to protect those illegals from deportation, according to the USA Today.
The DMV database can provide officers with information about a vehicle registration holder, helping them to determine whether a driver is on a sex-offender registry or has a criminal history. Opponents to the law argued that such a policy paves the way for voter fraud, identity theft, and terrorism.
Wolf has warned that the Green Light Law is dangerous to both public safety and national security, adding that would encourage other illegal immigrants to try to enter the country.
“I would say that any time we reward illegal behavior, illegal activity, that’s problematic for us,” he said last month. “And what we have seen, particularly on the border, is that encourages more populations, more individuals, to come here illegally, which puts a larger strain on DHS’s capabilities to secure the border and the like.”
Wolf’s memo ordered DHS agencies to assess what DMV information is currently available, how it is used in day-to-day operations, and what the security consequences are without the information.
“Never before in our history have we seen politicians make such rash and dangerous decisions to end all communication and cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security law enforcement,” DHS spokeswomen Heather Swift said. “The secretary is prepared to take every measure necessary to ensure the safety and security of the homeland and we look forward to the recommendations of our agents and officers in the field.”