Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office really wanted everyone to know about this: A leaked memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security that outlined leverage to use against states that have approved measures allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses.
In New York's case, it was freezing the state's residents out of trusted traveler programs, citing a provision that bars the DMV from sharing information with ICE.
The story published by BuzzFeed Monday evening that outlined the memo was calling a "smoking gun" and a "bombshell" by the govenror.
The statement from Cuomo's office copy and pasted the full story beneath his statement.
"From the beginning we have said the Trump administration's decision to ban New Yorkers from the trusted traveler program was politically motivated retaliation meant to specifically punish New York," Cuomo said. "We were right. The leaked DHS is the smoking gun that proves that the Trump administration is once again knowingly abusing power by using government to extort states for political purposes, with no rational link to a legitimate policy. We filed a lawsuit to challenge this unconstitutional behavior, which is proven in the Trump administration's own words."
Cuomo had raised concerns initially last June over the possibility of ICE obtaining records of people living illegally in the United States due to the law. Attorney General Letitia James had said the measure would withstand legal scrutiny and contains enough protections.
But the fight with the Trump administration is a different one. Team Cuomo often feels the governor is at his most effective when he has an external enemy to rhetorically combat.
"The memo reported on by BuzzFeed is a clear, documented admission by the Trump administration that they are purposely targeting law-abiding U.S. citizens to play partisan politics," Cuomo said. "This is Ukraine-style extortion right here in our own country. The Trump administration should release the memo immediately."
New York on Monday filed a lawsuit challenging the trusted traveler freeze.