New York state is suing the Trump administration over the Department of Homeland Security's decision to ban New Yorkers from the Trusted Traveler Program in what Attorney General Letitia James called "political retribution" after the state passed a law blocking immigration officials from accessing DMV records.
"This is political retribution, plain and simple, and while the president may want to punish New York for standing up to his xenophobic policies, we will not back down," said James, adding "We plan to take legal action and sue the Trump Administration for its unfair targeting of New York State residents. This new policy will negatively impact travelers, workers, commerce, and our economy, so we will fight the president’s shortsighted crusade against his former home. We will not allow New Yorkers to be targeted or bullied by an authoritarian thug."
#BREAKING: We plan to sue the Trump Admin for unfairly targeting NYers with its new DHS policy restricting Global Entry.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 7, 2020
The policy will negatively impact travelers, workers, commerce & our economy, so we will fight the president’s shortsighted crusade against his former home.
In its suspension of the Trusted Traveler Program that enables people to fast-track their return into the country after international travel, DHS cited New York's new law, claiming it prevents immigration officials from accessing motor vehicle records which prevents federal agencies from protecting residents from "menacing threats to national security and public safety."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo strongly disagreed, saying in a statement: "Time and time again President Trump and his Washington enablers have gone out of their way to hurt New York and other blue states whenever they can as punishment for refusing to fall in line with their dangerous and divisive agenda," adding "The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to ban New Yorkers from the Trusted Traveler Program is yet another example of this administration’s disrespect of the rule of law, hyper-partisan politics and use of extortion. There is no rational basis for this politically motivated ban, and we are taking legal action to stop the federal government from inconveniencing New Yorkers to score political points."
Thirteen other states, and the District of Columbia, have similar laws to NY's Green Light Law. However, the DHS singled out New York State on Thursday saying New York residents could no longer apply for any of the Trusted Traveler Programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection), NEXUS, and FAST (Free and Secure Trade).
New York residents who are already active within the Trusted Traveler Program will not be revoked. TSA Pre✓ does not seem to be affected .
The feds say it's not the part of law that lets illegal aliens get a driver's license that has brought things to this point.
It's the other part of the law, which prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with federal law enforcement such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. -WGRZ
New York's DMV law was fiercely opposed last year by state GOP, and has met with resistance from some county clerks who administer motor vehicle offices for the state, according to the New York Times, which adds that "A handful of county clerks, mostly in conservative areas in upstate New York, threatened to not comply with the law, and some filed legal challenges."
The legal challenges drew national attention, even though they were ultimately dismissed in federal court. One lawsuit filed by the Rensselaer county clerk, Frank J. Merola, got a boost when the Justice Department filed a memorandum of support in December, days before the law was set to go into effect.
The Justice Department’s lawyers suggested in the filing that the state law’s “disclosure restrictions are wide-reaching and appear aimed at frustrating the federal government’s enforcement of the immigration laws.” -New York Times
According Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, "It is clearly a blatant attempt by the White House to score political points and perpetuate a partisan fight with New York elected officials."