Expect fireworks as President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepare to meet at the White House on Thursday for a tête-à-tête on immigration. This came in response to the state's recent "Green Light Law" that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for diver's licenses without their information getting to immigration enforcement agencies.
"You apply for this and you do an in-person interview with the federal government and you provide them all your documentation", he said.
The comment appeared to be a threat to force the state to drop the numerous lawsuits New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed against his aggressive anti-immigration policies, including the "Trusted Travelers" program freeze.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli announced last week that New Yorkers would no longer be allowed to enroll or re-enroll in the traveler programs.
Roughly 200,000 New Yorkers are affected by the halt on applications, according to DHS, including 30,000 commercial truck operators who travel to Canada and Mexico.
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Cuomo, a Democrat, called the Trump administration's move "extortion" and an effort to punish NY for political purposes. "This is what happens when an administration believes they are above the law".
New York's DMV database now includes people who are in the US illegally but who have driver's licenses. He noted that people who are in the US illegally couldn't apply for the "trusted traveler" programs anyway because it would be tantamount to turning themselves over to federal agents. "They want to make political hay out of it", Cuomo said on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning.
The governor insists he's trying to work with the president.
"Because if they don't accept this, then what they're admitting is they're just playing politics", Cuomo said. Cuomo said there is no reason for the federal government to ask for driver's licenses from TTP applicants because they already go through strict screening before obtaining their accelerated travel credentials.