ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump failed to break a stalemate on the administration’s decision to ban New York residents from using programs that allow speedier customs checks and border crossings.
The pair met at the White House Thursday to discuss the action taken by the Department of Homeland Security in response to a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and blocks federal immigration authorities’ access to state data.
The governor did not go into the meeting with high expectations.
“If you’re asking me if I have a high expectation of success? No,” Cuomo said during an event at his Manhattan office ahead of his flight to D.C. “But it makes me feel better knowing I did everything I could to argue for the state of New York.”
Cuomo said he planned to present the president with a compromise that would grant federal authorities access to the records of only those New Yorkers applying for the travel programs, but not the full state Department of Motor Vehicles database.
Following the meeting, DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf said discussions will continue in the search for a “mutually agreeable solution.”
“New York is the only state that restricts CBP access to their data across the board — for law enforcement, customs, trade, and travel facilitation purposes,” he said. “Despite that, we will continue discussions with the State of New York to find a mutually agreeable solution.”
Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever also indicated talks are ongoing.
“The president said that this is an issue he wants to work on and that he would follow up with the governor next week,” Lever said in a statement.
New York is suing the Trump administration over the ban. If nothing comes of the discussions, Cuomo said the courts will handle the matter.
“Then we have a lawsuit, then we have a lawsuit — and by the way, it’s not just New York, there was a fascinating memo that was leaked from the Department of Homeland Security … that laid out things that could be done to punish unfriendly states,” the governor said.
Trump, meanwhile, took to Twitter to troll the governor ahead of the sitdown, saying Cuomo must “understand that National Security far exceeds politics” and taking a personal dig at the Italian-American governor’s family.
He went on to call on his former home state to “stop all of its unnecessary lawsuits & harassment, start cleaning itself up, and lowering taxes.”
Trump was forced to pay a $2 million settlement for illegally misusing charitable funds last year after Attorney General Letitia James probed his nonprofit. James’ office is also currently looking into the business practices of the president’s business ventures.
“Build relationships, but don’t bring Fredo!” Trump added, in a dig he has repeatedly lobbed at the governor’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.
The younger Cuomo took umbrage at being compared to the character from the mob film “The Godfather” by a Trump supporter in a viral video last summer. The TV journalist and the governor have spoken out against the reference, calling it offensive to Italian-Americans.
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