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Cuomo, Trump meeting over 'trusted traveler' programs was 'productive,' DHS official says

Posted: 5:25 PM, Feb 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-13 18:18:28-05
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo met Thursday to discuss the Trump administration's decision to bar New Yorkers from enrolling in "trusted traveler" programs, with one official claiming the meeting was "productive."

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in a tweet he attended the meeting with Cuomo and Trump, saying the relationship between the state and federal governments is "very important," before saying it's become "difficult" following "the unilateral actions of New York State regarding the sharing of critical security information with DHS."

The dispute between the Democratic governor and Republican president seemed to originate with New York's new “Green Light” law, which lets unauthorized immigrants get state driver's licenses and also bars federal immigration agents from accessing state motor vehicle records.

Cuomo's office released a statement Thursday evening following the meeting, saying the governor "restated the initial solution that he proposed to the DHS Acting Secretary last Thursday on our willingness to allow federal officials access to DMV records only for individuals applying to the Trusted Traveler Program." The spokesperson, Dani Lever, said "DHS's action was politically motivated and unwarranted as the FBI already has information regarding criminal records."

The president tweeted before the meeting that Cuomo "must understand that National Security far exceeds politics," before referring to the governor as Fredo.

"When you stop violating the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, we will stand down," New York Attorney General Letitia James said in reply to the president. "Until then, we have a duty and responsibility to defend the Constitution and the rule of law."

Trump said he would follow up with Cuomo next week, Lever said in the statement.

Cuomo had previously said he hoped to persuade Trump to reverse the decision to boot New Yorkers from programs that allow travelers to avoid long lines at the U.S. the border.

The Trump administration responded to the law by blocking New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other “trusted traveler” programs.

Cuomo had said he wass willing to restore federal access to driving records on a limited basis.