Cuomo threatens to sue RI over new policy to find New Yorkers in the state

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Saturday that if Rhode Island does not roll back its new policy of stopping vehicles with New York license plates and collecting information about New Yorkers who have entered the Ocean State, he would sue.

“If they uphold that policy, I’m going to sue,” he told CNN on Saturday, adding that the two governors would likely work it out “amicably.”

Rhode Island's governor, Gina Raimondo (D), issued an order Friday enacting new measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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The governor's measures allow law enforcement officers to stop cars and collect information about motorists who have New York license plates, according to a report from Bloomberg. The National Guard will be stationed at Rhode Island's airport as well as Amtrak and bus stations to question passengers about their travel plans.

The National Guard will then knock on doors in coastal communities to identify people who've been to New York state to ensure that they are self-quarantining for 14 days. 

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Raimondo said, according to Bloomberg. “That risk is called New York City.” 

New York has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any other state in the U.S. Nearly half of all cases in the country are there, particularly in New York City and the surrounding region. 

"I think what they did is wrong. It was reactionary. I think it was illegal, but we'll work it out amicably, I'm sure," Cuomo said. "No state should be using police to prohibit interstate travel in any way."

In the same interview, Cuomo also said that an enforced quarantine for his state and its adjacent neighbors might not be legal after President Trump warned that he's considering a short-term quarantine of "hot spots" in parts of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

"It would be chaos and mayhem," Cuomo said. "It's totally opposite everything he's been saying. I don't think it is plausible. I don't think it is legal."