ALBANY — As the Trump Administration is dropping a lawsuit against New York over the Trusted Traveler Program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for the Department of Justice and Congress to investigate the administration for what he calls politically motivated lying.
During a press briefing Friday, Cuomo took exception to the Trump Administration’s motive for dropping the litigation, saying officials lied to the courts and caused damage to New York’s economy.
“Sometimes things have to play out before the truth will out, but I believe the truth will out,” Cuomo said.
He said the Department of Homeland Security dropped its opposition to the lawsuit.
“The Department of Justice files court papers saying they are dropping the lawsuit because revelations have come to light suggesting that Homeland Security was not truthful,” Cuomo said.
“New York State was not the only state to have a green light law, there was nothing unique about New York to justify their punitive action against New York. It is impossible the Department of Homeland Security just figured that out yesterday afternoon. They got caught, that’s what happened yesterday.”
Cuomo said the state’s green light law, which blocked DMV from sharing information for people who applied for the Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) was challenged by Trump because the president said the law interfered with ICE and other federal agencies to enforce immigration laws. Cuomo said he received a letter from Trump saying the TTP was no longer available in New York.
TTP allows for pre-approval on border checks for those crossing the U.S. border.
“Fifteen other states have the same program. Why just New York when 15 other states have the same law,” Cuomo said. “I said they disagree with our Green Light Law, many other states have it.”
In a meeting with Trump, Cuomo said he agreed to dump the Green Light law and share information for anyone applying for TTP.
“I will pass the law that would ostensibly address their issue. In April we passed that law in the budget. If a person applies for the TTP, I would give the data. You know what’s happened since April? Nothing.”
“What they said yesterday in dropping the law suite is there are other states that have green light laws. We’ve known that. You just realized it yesterday? Is that at all plausible, is that at all credible? Is it plausible that you didn’t know what the laws were in this nation? No, they got caught. It was all politics all the time,” Cuomo said.
He said the officials involved may have criminal liability and the Administration may have civil liability for the impact on New Yook.
‘Without TTP, lines at airports were jammed and backlogged at the same time COVID 19 was entering New York from Europe.
“I’m calling on Attorney General Barr to initiate an investigation,’ Cuomo said. “I call on Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Nadler to investigate this issue.”
He said his staff is starting to try and figure out what civil damages the state can possibly sue for, adding it’s hard to quantify.