Trump, Cuomo Fail to Solve Rift Over New York Travel Program Ban

Grant Boone
February 14, 2020

"We already announced that we will sue the federal government, because I believe it's illegal", said the governor.

Trump blamed the ban on New York's new law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, while barring federal immigration agents from accessing state motor vehicle records.

The governor insists he's trying to work with the president.

Mr. Cuomo left the White House for the airport without talking to reporters, though Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued a statement saying they'll try to find a way forward.

"[They met] today to discuss the situation and the dire need to rectify it. Gov. 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", a spokesman said. "Despite that, we will continue discussions with the state of NY to find a mutually agreeable solution". He also chided the state to cease unnecessary "lawsuits" and "harassment" while criticizing its high tax rates.

"You can't use government power for your political objective", Cuomo, who has gone toe-to-toe with Trump in the past, told reporters before leaving for Washington.

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An agency spokeswoman described the memo to Buzzfeed as "informational" and said it did not affect the decision to cut the expedited travel programs for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

Trump has used the name "Fredo", one of the Corleone brothers in "The Godfather", to mock Cuomo's bother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

The department has already suspended that and other Trusted Traveler Programs for NY residents in response to a state law, and The Northern Light reports deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli says Washington residents could be next.

NY residents who are now enrolled in Trusted Traveler Programs will be allowed to maintain their memberships until they expire - but memberships cannot be renewed nor can new applicants receive them. Trump told NY to stop its "harassment" ahead of a meeting with Gov.

"You apply for this and you do an in-person interview with the federal government and you provide them all your documentation", he said.

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