The Department of Homeland Security's announcement that New Yorkers would be frozen out from registering for "trusted traveler" programs due to the Green Light Law took state officials by surprise.
The initial announcement was made by the acting DHS secretary in a television interview on Wednesday, followed by a briefing for the media. A formal letter was sent to the state from Homeland Security officials.
At issue is a provision that prevents the state Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with immigration enforcement officials without a court order.
"They never called; they never had a conversation; they sent the letter; they immediately did a press release and a press call, and what they said is basically, 'Yeah we can't get this trusted traveler program in New York anymore because we can't get the database, but by the way, it's not about that either," Cuomo said in an interview with WAMC. "It's really about 'we want the information for ICE because ICE is how we stay safe, and ICE is how we deport undocumented people and undocumented people are bad people, and ICE is the savior of the world.' That's what they're saying."
The Cuomo administration has not ruled out a legal challenge to the move.