WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said late Thursday afternoon that Governor Cuomo and President Trump held a “productive meeting." Cuomo went to the White House Thursday to meet with President Trump to talk about the federal government’s decision to ban New Yorkers from Trusted Traveler programs. It comes after a week of back and forth between the state and the Trump administration over the issue.
The meeting ended, but we're kind of in the dark over whether there are any solutions. Microphones were waiting at the White House for the president or governor to come out to speak, but they didn't.
Thursday evening, the governor’s communications director released the following statement:
"Governor Cuomo met with President Trump today to discuss the situation and the dire need to rectify it. Governor Cuomo 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.
“As the Governor previously said, we believe DHS’s action was politically motivated and unwarranted as the FBI already has information regarding criminal records and TTP applicants already go through an extensive federal background check. The President said that this is an issue he wants to work on and that he would follow up with the Governor next week.”
Prior to the meeting, Cuomo said, “It’s going to hurt tens of thousands of New Yorkers, who will be inconvenienced. For no reason! Uh, no logical reason. Just pure retaliation. And I want, I want to know I did everything I could to stop that."
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced New Yorkers could no longer sign up or re-enroll in its Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry and NEXUS.
The move was in response to the state's new Green Light Law, which allows undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses. The law also blocks federal immigration agents from accessing state Department of Motor Vehicles records, which the feds say is necessary to vet travelers for the programs.
Earlier this week, New York officials filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security's decision.
But ahead of Thursday's meeting, Governor Cuomo said he will allow Homeland Security to access DMV records on a limited basis.
"We will give you whatever information you want from the DMV database, Department of Motor Vehicles' database, for the Trusted Traveler program. I'm cooperating. Will you now stop doing what you're doing, which is gratuitous and retaliatory? I believe they're going to say no," said Cuomo.
Cuomo says there was a leaked Department of Homeland Security memo that said the agency needs to punish states that don't comply with its policy on undocumented immigrants.
Meanwhile, President Trump said in a tweet ahead of the meeting that Cuomo must understand that national security far exceeds politics and that the state must stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits and harassment.