After a few days of public name-calling, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually met with President Trump on Thursday to talk about the Administration’s decision to remove New Yorkers from Global Entry and several other Trusted Traveler Programs that let people avoid long lines when returning from abroad.
Cuomo has been railing that it was political retribution and trying to paint it as a personal attack by Trump on New York with nefarious racist intentions. In fact, it was done because the databases to insure travelers are allowed in the US legally and don’t have criminal records are based on state drivers’ license records – and New York recently started giving licenses to undocumented immigrants and blocking the feds from seeing their state motor vehicle database with the necessary background information.
In short, the state expects federal agencies entrusted with guarding national security to have as little regard for who someone is and whether they’re in America legally or not as New York liberal Democrats do.
Not unexpectedly, there were no breakthroughs in the meeting, although Cuomo signaled a willingness to compromise a little by restoring federal access to driving records “on a limited basis.” Which is useless, not just because it’s limited but because having a New York drivers’ licenses will still be no guarantee that someone has the legal right to be in America at all. And he’s still vowing that “If they think they're going to extort New York into giving them a database of undocumented people, they're wrong. I will never do that."
It’s a welcome development to see Cuomo at least putting aside the overheated rhetoric for an hour and having a White House meeting with Trump “as if he’s the President.” But if he expects Trump to compromise on national security, I think he’s barking up the wrong tree. Gov. Cuomo needs to realize that as chief executive of his state, it’s his sworn duty to faithfully execute the laws, not to aid and abet people who violate them. His government’s indulgence for lawbreakers is already causing a spike in crime in New York, and President Trump is absolutely correct to hold firm in refusing to allow the contagion to spread to the federal level.
It's too bad all New Yorkers have to pay for the stubbornness and bad policies of their politicians. But if you elect people who refuse to take their jobs seriously and respect federal law, then go stand in the back of the line.