February 12, 2020 11:30 AM, EST

Trump to Meet With Cuomo Over New York Trusted Traveler Ban

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in January 2017.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in January 2017. (Andrew Harnik/Associated Press)

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President Donald Trump will meet with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to discuss a potential compromise on the administration’s ban on state residents using programs that allow travelers to breeze through airport passport and customs checks.

Cuomo, in a Feb. 12 interview with Long Island News Radio host Jay Oliver, said Trump offered a meeting for Feb. 13 over residents’ access to federal Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry. Another Trusted Traveler program, Free and Secure Trade, allows commercial carriers hauling low-risk shipments expedited customs processing at the Mexican and Canadian borders.

The Department of Homeland Security said last week it would no longer allow New York state residents to sign up for or renew enrollments in the programs, citing new limits on federal access to state driver’s license data aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants.

New York plans to offer Homeland Security access to the state’s motor vehicles database on a case-by-case basis to obtain records of those who apply for the Trusted Traveler programs, Cuomo said in a separate interview on WAMC radio.

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“They have it already through the FBI, but I’ll give it to you, if that’s what you want you can have it,” Cuomo said on the Long Island radio program. “This is like a person at the door saying let me in or I’ll burn down the house. And I said OK, you are invited in. And they said we will burn down the house anyway.”

New York residents currently enrolled in the Global Entry program are allowed to continue using their passes until they expire, but 150,000 to 200,000 people per year will be unable to renew their participation, according to the administration.

The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, which covers domestic travel, was not among those affected by the suspension.

The Global Entry program provides people arriving in the U.S. with expedited passage through customs for five years following a brief background check and interview with Homeland Security personnel. It has an added advantage by being linked to the department’s TSA Pre-Check program, giving most Global Entry members expedited passage through security on domestic flights.

The move could snarl traffic at the U.S.-Canada border, where residents of upstate New York regularly commute back and forth to Canadian jobs or visit friends and family. Homeland Security also warned that exporting used vehicles to Canada would be significantly delayed because the federal government would no longer accept electronic records from the state.

The action was taken a day after Trump condemned so-called sanctuary cities as a Democratic scourge in his State of the Union address. He highlighted the arrest of an undocumented migrant in the recent rape and murder of an elderly woman in New York City.

New York this week sued to block the Trump administration’s action. Trump is seeking to punish the state for opposing many of his policies, said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the suit Feb. 10. The state is claiming his administration’s actions violate the U.S. Constitution as well as the law that created the Trusted Traveler programs in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

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