NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss barring New York residents from enrolling in Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs.
Cuomo made the announcement Wednesday morning on a radio show.
CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis says Cuomo is not totally giving in to federal demands.
“I will never give them access to the the DMV database and I think that’s what they really want,” Cuomo said, delivering a strong message on WAMC radio this morning ahead of a trip to Washington to meet face to face with Trump following the federal government’s recent decision to block New York residents from enrolling in Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs.
These programs give low-risk travelers pre-clearance to get through security faster.
“If they kick us out of the TTP program, that will have a dramatic effect on this state, border crossings, etc.,” Cuomo said.
The move by the federal government is in response to New York’s “green light law,” which allows undocumented immigrants to get a drivers license and blocks immigration enforcement agencies from accessing DMV and criminal records.
Cuomo argues the programs have nothing to do with New York’s DMV database.
“They want the access to the undocumenteds so they can give it to ICE and ICE can have a feeding frenzy assaulting undocumented people,” he said.
Cuomo says he’ll allow access only on a case-by-case basis, and only for those seeking to be in the trusted traveler programs, ultimately protecting the undocumented.
“I’m calling their bluff by saying you want access to the DMV database for TTP, I’ll give it to you. I don’t that’s what they want. I believe they just want political noise because they really want to make their argument on immigration,” Cuomo said.
When asked what to expect when the governor and the president get together Thursday, a White House spokesman declined to predict, but said Trump’s focus is safety for the public.
“The people of New York City especially understand what it means to have people come into this country without the proper documentation after 9/11. So I hope that Governor Cuomo can work with the president to come forth with some type of solution that allows the federal government to do its main function, which is to protect all Americans and their families,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley.
For the time being, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer allowing New York residents to apply for or renew memberships in trusted traveler programs, and recently canceled all pending applications.