The Department of Homeland Security is looking into new “Green Light” laws in New York and New Jersey that allow anyone 16-years or older to obtain a driver’s license without providing proof of citizenship.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf on Tuesday urged the department to be “prepared to deal with and counter these impacts as we protect the homeland,” in a memo obtained by the Associated Press.
Wolf is directing DHS agencies to assess the negative effects the new laws might have on security.
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“The Trump administration takes the mission of protecting the Homeland very seriously,” DHS spokeswoman Heather Swift told the AP.
“These types of laws make it easier for terrorists and criminals to obtain fraudulent documents.”
Under the New York law, which went into effect earlier this month, applicants must provide documents showing date of birth, proof of residency in the state and their names.
They are not, however, required to provide a Social Security number.
New York now accepts foreign passports, permanent resident cards and foreign driver’s licenses in lieu of a Social Security number.
Videos of droves of undocumented immigrants lining up at Department of Motor Vehicles offices across New York City were widely disseminated on social media, soon after the state’s passage of the “Green Light” law.
This is the line outside a @nysdmv office in #Queens . About a 100 most #undocumentedimmigrants applying for a drivers license for the first time bc #greenlightlaw is now in effect. pic.twitter.com/BYKoRjbIz4
— Rocco Vertuccio (@RoccoNY1) December 16, 2019
New Jersey passed a similar law in mid-December.
Both state’s laws prohibit DMV officials from giving data to agencies that enforce immigration law unless required by a judge, the AP reported.
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Wolf is asking DHS officials to look into how they use the current data provided by the DMV and what the consequences of no longer having the information will mean for the country’s safety.
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