Newly proposed Greenlight Legislation would authorize undocumented people the ability to get a New York State Driver’s license. Included in the bill is language that would require law enforcement to get a subpoena to run the plates or look up a driver’s license. The individual would also have to be notified before doing so. Oneida County Sheriff Rob Macio puts some perspective on how dangerous this legislation would be.
"If your child is waiting for a bus and a suspicious vehicle pulled up and attempted to abduct your child and you have a plate, or if it was an actual abduction and you have a plate and that’s all you have, I can’t run that plate. I have to apply for a judicial subpoena and wait several hours or days to get that subpoena, and before they give me that information, they’re going to let the registered owner of that vehicle know that I’m inquiring about their plate."
Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara is also concerned about how to pursue dangerous criminals if the DMV is notifying them before an arrest can be made.
"Drug dealers always register the cars in somebody else’s name. It’s not typically in their name. That’s all part of the overall investigation. Now if we do that, we have to tell them. They’re going to know they’re under investigation, and so imagine that’s the person that’s selling heroin that’s laced with fentanyl."
Senator Joe Griffo (R) 47th Senate District tells us it’s these kinds of bills that really need to be thought out before acting on them, but that’s not the current atmosphere in Albany.
"If recent past history is any illustration, then you’re going to see a lot of these things still get passed unfortunately, without making them better as a result of having that type of discourse and addressing the concerns that are being raised."
The bill is currently in committee, and although it’s not probable, it is possible lawmakers could bring it to the floor and vote on it as early as next week.