Cuomo meets with Trump over Trusted Traveler programs

Feb 14, 2020
Originally published on February 14, 2020 10:05 am

Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump on Thursday at the White House over the federal Homeland Security agency’s decision to stop enrolling New Yorkers in the Trusted Travel programs.

The programs, including Global Entry and NEXUS, expedite border crossings to Canada and Mexico and re-entry to the U.S. from abroad.

The Trump administration says New York jeopardized the safety of the programs because the state closed off access to its DMV database after approving a law to allow undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.

Cuomo, speaking before the meeting, said if that’s really the problem, then his offer this week to allow Homeland Security and U.S. border agents to have limited access to the DMV database should fix it.

“So that should resolve it,” Cuomo said. “Unless it’s not really about TTP and Global Entry.”

Cuomo said it’s more likely that the federal government’s decision was political “retaliation and reprisal” for New York’s law to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

Cuomo has met with Trump over previous differences, including the federal decision to strictly limit  deductions  for state and local taxes, known as SALT deductions, and to free up money for the Gateway Tunnel between New York and New Jersey . The governor admits those efforts have not been successful.

Cuomo received no commitment from Trump in the meeting on whether New Yorkers’ access to the Trusted Traveler programs will be restored. The governor’s communications director, Dani Lever, issued a statement  saying the president wants to work on the issue and will follow up next week.  

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