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The state of New York stood in the way of “critical information sharing” between state and federal agencies when it chose to block the federal Department of Homeland Security from accessing state Department of Motor Vehicles data, the acting deputy secretary of the DHS said Saturday night.
“The key,” Ken Cuccinelli said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” “was that they cut off the Department of Homeland Security from having access to their DMV databases, which are absolutely critical to conducting law enforcement and national security work for the Department of Homeland Security.
Such information access can potentially be the difference between life and death for law enforcement officers dealing with motorists, Cuccinelli told host Jeanine Pirro.
“And it’s amazing,” he added, “that one of the three states — like mine, Virginia — that was hit on 9/11, is walking backwards on this kind of critical information sharing. But that’s exactly right for their political virtue-signaling.”
“It’s amazing that one of the three states … that was hit on 9/11, is walking backwards on this kind of critical information sharing.”
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Cuccinelli appeared on the program two days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, visited the White House in a bid to persuade President Trump to reverse a recent decision to boot New Yorkers from Global Entry and several other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP), which allow travelers to avoid long customs lines at the U.S. border.
Cuccinelli said nothing was resolved in the Trump-Cuomo meeting but clarified the dispute was about federal access to the state’s DMV database, not the state’s support of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.
New York’s new “Green Light Law” lets illegal immigrants obtain state driver’s licenses and also bars federal immigration agents from accessing state motor vehicle records.
During his interview with Judge Jeanine Pirro, the deputy secretary talked further about the importance of the DMV information.
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“The most dangerous thing law enforcement does, and our law enforcement agents do this too, is come up on a vehicle they’ve had to pull over because there’s been a violation of law or they’re looking for something associated with that vehicle,” Cuccinelli said. “It’s a very dangerous moment for a law enforcement officer.”
Having access to DMV data during vehicle stops is crucial, he added.
“All sorts of things are contained in that database,” he said. “And they obviously tell us whether this person, A, can be a Trusted Traveler — for the Trusted Traveler Programs that you reference — and B, whether they are who they say they are, and see whether they’re dangerous to that law enforcement officer.”
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Cuccinelli also voiced disagreement with “the left” over issues regarding criminal illegal aliens.
“These are people who shouldn’t even have to be taken off the street because they shouldn’t even be in this country,” he said. “And for every single one of those that the left is trying to protect and defend, there are crime victims harmed by those people.
“And that’s who we prioritize,” he added. “And President Trump emphatically prioritizes protecting those crime victims.”
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