Immigration confrontation between President Trump and Andrew Cuomo, explained

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Cillizza: Fill us up. What is happening here? Cuomo and Trump clash over who has access to the DMV tapes? Why?

Alvarez: To understand what's going on now, we have to go back to last summer when Cuomo signed the "Green Light Act" This law, which came into effect in December, allows undocumented immigrants from New York to apply a driving license.

Today, New York is not the first state to pass a law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain a license. The key here is that the law has also prohibited Department of Homeland Security immigration agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, from accessing the New York Department of Motor Vehicles database.

DHS uses these databases for a multitude of reasons that go beyond the application of immigration law. So beyond the law that supports undocumented immigrants, it also maintains that DHS interferes with its security mission - and this seems to be the last drop.

Fast forward to today: DHS registration suspended in certain trusted traveler programs, such as Global Entry, for all New York residents. And in response, the state’s attorney general said that New York would prosecute DHS and CBP, which oversee some of the Trusted Traveler programs.

Cillizza: Why does the Trump administration even care about having access to DMV tapes?

Alvarez: Acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf told CNN last week that the DMV database gives the department insight into whether a trusted travel applicant has a DUI or other violation of aggregate traffic - information it says is no longer available.

New York Governor Cuomo should concede to Trump the fight against Global Entry in order to call the President & quot; bluff & quot;

It is only after a conviction that information is generally transferred to other law enforcement databases to which DHS still has access, a senior CBP official told congressional staff this week.

"New York State asks us to try to verify New York residents for these reliable travel programs without all the information," said Wolf. "Of course we can't do it. DHS and CBP must carry out a risk assessment. To perform a risk assessment, we need all the information that we have been using for Global Entry for some time. "

Cuomo, meanwhile, said that ending access to trusted traveler programs was "pure politics."

Conclusion: DHS argues that DMV tapes are important for law enforcement and verification purposes, while critics say the administration is retaliating against the state for its sanctuary law.

Cillizza: Was the "green light law" controversial when it was passed?

Alvarez: It was. Our colleagues reported last June that the Senate approved the green light bill with 33 votes to 29, and the result was greeted with cheers and cries from the rostrum. But the law also faced legal challenges from county clerks who were rejected by federal judges.
DHS also expressed concerns when it entered into force. The law "will protect criminals at the expense of the safety and security of law-abiding New York residents," the department spokesman said. said in a tweet.

Cillizza: What did Cuomo say he was ready to do?

Alvarez: Cuomo said on Wednesday that the state would give federal authorities access to the DMV database specifically for those applying for the Trusted Traveler program, but said he still saw it as a political ploy.

"I'm going to give them the DMV database for Trusted Traveler. These are people who are going for a federal interview in person with all kinds of basic information. So this is pure politics and this is what I am going to say to the president tomorrow, "Cuomo told local radio host Jay Oliver on Wednesday.

However, there still doesn't seem to be much communication between New York and DHS. A DHS spokesperson told CNN in a statement on Wednesday that "the department has yet to receive a proposal from New York State. We are only aware of media reports at this time. "

So things still seem difficult.

Cillizza: Finish this sentence: "The fight against Trump-Cuomo Global Entry will end with ________. "

Alvarez: … Maybe with access to DMV recordings for applicants to the Trusted Traveler program, but who knows!

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