With New York finding itself increasingly under siege from the Trump administration, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said the latest attack was the cancellation of a Medicaid grant worth $600 million just this year.
That comes on top of the Trump administration holding up funding for the Second Avenue subway and the Gateway Tunnel to New Jersey, as well as blocking New Yorkers from using "trusted traveler" programs like Global Entry.
"They see New York as a Democratic state. They don't believe they are politically viable here," Cuomo said about the Trump administration. "So why would you do anything for New York is their calculus."
At issue is New York's Green Light law, passed at the end of the legislative session last year, giving undocumented immigrants the right to obtain driver's licenses.
The Trump administration is demanding that Customs and Border Protection have access to that database, but Cuomo has refused to provide it, claiming the federal government will use it to target immigrants and deport them.
The federal government counters that the information is needed to protect the country in a post-9/11 world, and state Republicans echoed that message at a press conference Monday.
"Every state in the nation allows DHS, Department of Homeland Security, to access their DMV database, including the 14 other states that provide illegal immigrants with driver's licenses," said Republican Staten Island and Brooklyn Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running for Congress. "For some reasons, Gov. Cuomo wants to be the only state that doesn't comply with these requirements."
"I told them I will give them the DMV data for people in the 'trusted traveler' programs. They can have it. They don't want it," the governor said. "They want to be able to use our DMV database for immigration purposes, which we say they can't."
The impasse over the Green Light law and the DMV database only appears to be getting worse as both the governor and the Trump administration dig in their heels. We also learned last week that the federal government could end up blocking or delaying the congestion pricing program, which was set to take effect early next year and charge drivers a fee to enter Manhattan below 60th Street. The money raised from that was going to be used to help improve the subways.