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Acting ICE chief met by protesters at Rensselaer jail

Feb 21, 2020 2:00 pm
Nick Reisman is reporting for the State of Politics blog as expected, the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Matthew Albence, made an appearance February 20, at the Rensselaer County Jail in Troy to denounce the state law permitting undocumented residents to apply for driver's licenses and preventing federal agencies from accessing the motor vehicle database. "“I don’t know how you compromise on public safety," Albence said, flanked by law enforcement and elected officials, including Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo, the only sheriff in New York to collaborate with ICE. The well-publicized event was met by a protest attended by 75 people, who chanted outside the building causing the press conference to be briefly halted. Abby Hoover is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media some local residents participated in that demonstration, including Bryan MacCormack, director of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement. The Sanctuary Movement is the regional coordinator of the Green Light campaign, and MacCormack estimated the group has assisted more than 400 community members in obtaining driver's licenses since the law went into effect in December 2019. At the press conference, Albence denied that his department would use the state's motor vehicle database as a way to find undocumented people, but MacCormack said there are examples from other states that ICE is abusing access to databases. “They are using that to target our immigrant communities, and that’s exactly why we wrote the strongest privacy provisions in the nation into the Green Light legislation,” MacCormack said.
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