Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump Thursday to talk about the federal government’s recent ban on New Yorkers re-enrolling in so-called trusted traveler programs, which allow individuals to more easily enter the U.S. when traveling internationally.
Cuomo said he’ll offer the Trump administration access to the state’s DMV database, but only to evaluate individuals applying for a trusted traveler program.
The federal Department of Homeland Security revoked access to trusted traveler programs last week for New Yorkers in response to the state’s Green Light Law, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the state.
The Green Light Law, as written, barred the federal government from accessing New York’s DMV database. That was to prevent federal immigration authorities from targeting applicants under the Green Light Law for purposes of deportation.
Cuomo, last week, called the move a “political stunt,” but said he won’t let his personal differences with Trump interfere with tomorrow’s meeting.
"I'm not going to put my personal feelings first, I wouldn't do that,” Cuomo said. “The president is in a political race, everything he does is political, in my opinion."
The meeting comes after Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Monday to reverse the Trump administration's decision to block access to trusted traveler programs for New Yorkers. James said it was a violation of New York’s sovereign rights.
“New Yorkers will not be held hostage by an administration intent on restraining the sovereign rights of New York State,” James said.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defended the Trump administration’s move over the weekend, characterizing New York’s Green Light Law as “dangerous.” Wolf, speaking on Fox News, said that while other states have enacted similar laws, New York’s is different.
“New York is the only state — that bears repeating, the only state — that restricts [Customs and Border Protection] access to their DMV data across the board, not only for immigration purposes, but for law enforcement purposes,” Wolf said.
Cuomo didn’t say during the radio interview where the meeting would be held. Trump had accused Cuomo of canceling a similar meeting over the weekend, but Cuomo said there was a misunderstanding and that the meeting just hadn’t been scheduled.