New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he's not optimistic about compromising with the Trump administration ahead of his Thursday meeting with President Trump over a spat with the Department of Homeland Security.
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New York filed a lawsuit Monday challenging DHS' decision to block New Yorkers from participating in Trusted Traveler Programs in retribution for a new state law that could hinder federal immigration enforcement.
"The DHS said that they're ending the Trusted Traveler Program, the Global Entry program, because they need information from our DMV database," Cuomo said at a Thursday press conference. "I don't believe that's true."
"I’m seeing Governor Cuomo today at The White House. He must understand that National Security far exceeds politics. New York must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits [and] harrassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes. Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!" Trump wrote on Twitter after Cuomo's remarks.
Cuomo is willing to compromise and share DMV info with DHS, but only the information of New Yorkers applying to such travel programs, he said Wednesday morning.
"That should resolve it unless it's not really about TTP and Global Entry and it's about what that memo that was leaked from DHS that suggests, which is all politics," he said Thursday.
"We give licenses to undocumented people in New York because it helps the public safety of New Yorkers," he added. "My children are out there driving cars. I want to make sure the people out there on the roads have a license and know how to drive a car."
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf explained his department'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."
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.