BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Controversial signs posted at auto bureaus in Erie and Niagara Counties have now come down.
Those signs, which included the words “If you see something, say something” encouraged people to report suspicious activity to immigration officials. The slogan is trademarked by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City. The MTA demanded that Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns and Niagara County Clerk Joe Jastrzemski, who operate the auto bureaus in their respective counties, take them down.
“The MTA has been notified by the county clerks of Erie and Niagara Counties that they have removed their illegal signs,” MTA officials wrote in a statement Thursday morning.
The development comes just four days before the Green Light Law takes effect. The law allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses using, for example, just a foreign passport. Kearns and Jastrzemski are against the law, claiming their staff has not be trained to identify foreign documents.
Though the law was scheduled to be implemented Saturday, since that falls on a weekend, it will instead take effect Monday, December 16th, a New York State DMV spokesperson said. It is unclear what Kearns and Jastrzemski will do.
Jennifer Connor is the executive director of Justice for Migrant Families, one of the groups which fought for the Green Light Law’s passage. She says anti-immigrant rhetoric can do damage.
“We are encouraging people in Erie County, not just applicants for the standard license, but all people to spend your money elsewhere until it becomes clear that our local DMV is actually following the law of the land,” Connor said