New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with President Trump at the White House Thursday over Homeland Security’s decision to stop enrolling New Yorkers in trusted traveler programs, like Global Entry and NEXUS, which expedite border crossings to Canada and Mexico and re-entry to the US 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 state 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 US 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 says it’s more likely the federal government’s decision was political “retaliation and reprisal” for New York’s law to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state driver’s licenses.
Cuomo has met with President 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.