Attorney General Letitia James in a statement on Monday said the bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses “contains ample protections” for those seeking the document.

The statement comes as the Senate is poised to approve the bill and hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised concerns with the legislation’s potential for exposing undocumented immigrants in a “database” to federal immigration enforcement.

His top counsel, Alphonso David, wrote a letter to Solicitor General Barbara Underwood to seek a legal opinion on whether the federal government could gain access to the information.

James is Underwood’s superior in the Department of Law.

“I support the Green Light bill, and the Office of Attorney General has concluded that it is constitutional,” James said. “We will not opine on any actions the federal government may or may not take.
“The legislation is well crafted and contains ample protections for those who apply for driver’s licenses. If this bill is enacted and challenged in court, we will vigorously defend it.”

The statement is a stark one for James, who was enthusiastically backed by Cuomo in the attorney general’s race last year.