The Department of Homeland Security has suspended Global Entry and several other trusted traveler programs for all residents of New York.
Chad Wolf, the Acting Homeland Security Chief, was on Fox News Wednesday night when he told host Tucker Carlson that all residents of the Empire State will be unable to enroll in the programs that make flying both domestically and internationally smoother.
Wolf said that New Yorkers “can’t enroll or re-enroll” in the Trusted Traveler Programs — which includes Global Entry, Nexus and more — because the department “no longer [has] access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”
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The benefits of Global Entry include expedited passage through customs in the U.S., no waiting in processing lines or filling out paperwork at airports and eligibility to join TSA PreCheck.
The news from the Trump administration official comes in response to New York’s sanctuary and Green Light laws, which allow residents to apply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit regardless of their immigration status.
In a letter to New York State officials, Wolf noted that the law prohibited state DMVs from sharing criminal records with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for Trusted Travelers Program membership meets program eligibility requirements” and hinders ICE and their agents from fulfilling their mission.
"In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids," Wolf wrote in the letter. "In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission."
Nexus (which allows for entry into the U.S. from Canada) or Sentri (which allows entry into the U.S. from Mexico) would be affected as well. However, TSA PreCheck was not among the Trusted Travelers Programs impacted by the order.
A senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, said the move by DHS was politically motivated.
“This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we're going to review our legal options," Azzopardi said.
Cuomo, a Democrat, approved the Green Light law last summer, allowing individuals to use foreign-issued documents to prove their age and identity so they can apply for driving privileges. Lawmakers and Cuomo became worried that ICE and CBP would be able to easily obtain information about people seeking a license, and possibly making it easier for them to be deported.
New York Attorney General Letitia James blasted the decision and said the state would not back down.
"New Yorkers will not be targeted or bullied by an authoritarian thug," she said in a statement.