Cuomo Takes Steps to Prevent Immigration Use of N.Y.’s DMV Data

(Bloomberg) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to increase penalties to ensure the state’s motor-vehicle database isn’t used for immigration purposes amid an ongoing feud with the federal government.

Cuomo, in a news conference Monday, again criticized the Trump administration’s decision to ban New York residents from using programs that allow speedier customs and immigration checks, like the Trusted Travelers program.

“This is a hostage-taking, pressure, extortion, to get us to turn over the DMV database, which I never will,” said Cuomo, a Democrat. The governor has said the move to ban New Yorkers from enrolling in the program is political and that he’ll protect undocumented immigrants by not giving federal agencies full access to the database.

“As a matter of fact, I’m going to do the exact opposite,” Cuomo said. “I want additional precautions to make sure that the DMV database is not misused.”

This could include penalizing law enforcement in other states who use the database to look up a driver’s immigration status, he said, adding that his administration is examining how to go about putting these penalties in place.

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