New York governor signals possible compromise with Trump in immigration dispute

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo takes part in a regional cannabis and vaping summit in New York City, New York
FILE PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo takes part in a regional cannabis and vaping summit in New York City, New York, U.S., October 17, 2019. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)


Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested on Wednesday that he will make concessions to Republican President Donald Trump in a dispute over the Northeastern state’s pro-immigrant “sanctuary” policies.

Speaking on a New York radio program, Cuomo signaled he would allow federal immigration authorities to have limited access to a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.

Specifically, Cuomo said he would grant access to DMV records of residents who use “trusted traveler” programs that allow faster security checks at airports and other ports of entry.

“These are people who go for an in-person federal interview with all sorts of background information,” Cuomo told radio host Jay Oliver, adding that he expected to meet with Trump on Thursday.

Trump faces re-election in November and has made immigration a central theme of his 2020 campaign. During his annual State of the Union address last week, he blasted “sanctuary” jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, saying the policies allow “dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland (DHS) announced last week that it would bar New Yorkers from obtaining both new passes and renewals of Global Entry and three programs that permit faster travel between the United States, Canada and Mexico, a move that could affect hundreds of thousands of travelers if left in place.

At the center of the dispute is New York’s so-called Green Light law, a measure passed last year to allow unauthorized immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. The law also prohibits the sharing of certain state DMV records with federal immigration authorities, which Trump administration officials argue creates a security risk.

New York filed a lawsuit over the suspension on Monday, saying the move would undermine public safety and cut the state’s economy. Before the lawsuit was filed, Cuomo said Trump’s action was “extortion” and an abuse of power aimed at bullying a traditionally Democratic-leaning state.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters on Wednesday that he hoped Trump and Cuomo could reach “some type of solution” that maintains U.S. security.

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