Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday warned congressional Democrats to “exercise extreme caution” in negotiating a deal with President Donald Trump aimed at restoring an Obama-era program that has shielded thousands of immigrant students and young adults in the U.S. without documentation from deportation.
Cuomo, in a morning radio interview, said he took issue with “the starting point” of negotiation talks between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump, saying there was already growing bipartisan support in Congress to salvage the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program before the leaders met last week.
“I don’t like the starting point of this negotiation, and I think the Democrats have to exercise extreme caution,” Cuomo said during an appearance on “The Cats Roundtable” on 970 AM. “Because basically what the transaction is, is the president saying to the Democrats, I’ll give you what you already have, which is DACA, and in exchange I want more money for border security with Mexico, which . . . is going to turn into a wall by the time he’s finished.”
Shortly after meeting with Trump at the White House on Wednesday, Schumer and Pelosi announced they had reached an agreement with the president that would restore the DACA program in exchange for Democrats’ support for increased border security funding. Both lawmakers said the deal would not include funding for Trump’s proposed southern border wall, but White House officials have pushed back, saying a deal was never reached.
Cuomo told radio host John Catsimatidis that he was skeptical Trump wouldn’t use the extra funding for a new border wall, saying the president might use it to create a “cyber wall” equipped with cameras and sensors.
Asked about Cuomo’s remarks at an unrelated news conference in midtown Manhattan, Schumer reiterated that any deal reached between Trump and Democrats would not include funding for the wall.
“I told the president unequivocally, no wall, and he said no wall attached to Dreamers,” Schumer said, using the name often used to describe DACA recipients. “He’ll try to get it somewhere else. We’ll try to fight him somewhere else. He won’t get the wall.”