President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will meet on Thursday to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's decision to block New Yorkers from participating in "trusted traveler programs" in retribution for a new state law, a White House official confirmed to FOX Business.
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DHS' decision is a response to a law, which took effect in December, allowing any person over the age of 16 to apply for a driver’s license regardless of U.S. citizenship status. Part of that law also prohibited the state's Department of Motor Vehicles from giving records to federal immigration agents.
Cuomo is willing to compromise and share DMV info with DHS, but only the information of New Yorkers applying to such travel programs, Cuomo said on Wednesday morning.
"I'm going to strip away any patina of credibility and government authenticity and expose the sham that they are running once again where they’re using government to abuse people for political purposes," Cuomo told WAMC public radio on Wednesday.
It's unknown whether the administration would accept such a compromise.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf responded to Cuomo's decision on "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
"This has nothing to do with the law that they passed regarding providing driver's licenses to illegal aliens," Wolf said. That's dangerous, but that's separate from what we did this week. 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."
"If New York wants to restore this access, then we're happy to continue to process these applications," Wolf said on Sunday.
News of Trump and Cuomo's meeting comes just days after BuzzFeed News published details of a leaked DHS memo discussing the Department's options when dealing with "uncooperative states."
Options listed included obtaining an individual's information "by soliciting the assistance of a ‘friendly’ state, who pursuant to REAL ID Act requirements, should have access to other DMV databases," according to BuzzFeed. Other options included canceling TSA PreCheck in uncooperative states and encouraging the Justice Department to defend Immigration and Customs Enforcement filing a subpoena for all "greenlight licenses," referring to licenses granted to undocumented immigrants.
"From the beginning we have said the Trump administration's decision to ban New Yorkers from the trusted traveler program was politically motivated retaliation meant to specifically punish New York. We were right. The leaked DHS memo is the smoking gun that proves that the Trump administration is once again knowingly abusing power by using government to extort states for political purposes," Cuomo said in a statement on Tuesday.
"As the memo clearly states, the recommendations were informational, draft, and pre-decisional," DHS spokesperson Heather Swift told BuzzFeed. "The Acting Secretary did not consider the draft recommendations in his decision making. Instead, the Acting Secretary took targeted and limited action to address the security vulnerability New York’s law created."
FOX Business' Blake Burman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.