NY To Sue US Over Its Ouster From Trusted Traveler Programs

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FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2019 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a bill signing ceremony in New York. Cuomo says his state will file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's plan to block New Yorkers from enrolling in "trusted traveler" programs. Federal officials say they took the step because of a new New York law barring immigrant agents from getting access to state motor vehicle records. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

ALABNY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state will file a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to block New Yorkers from participating in “trusted traveler programs” in retribution for a new state law that could hinder federal immigration enforcement, officials said Friday.

“It’s an abuse of power. It’s extortion. It is hurting New Yorkers to advance their political agenda. And we’re going to fight back,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said at a news conference in New York.

The lawsuit is the latest salvo in an escalating fight over immigration policy between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in his home state.

In December, a new state law took effect allowing New York residents to apply for driver’s licenses without having to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Part of that law also sought to protect immigrants in the country illegally who applied for the new licenses by prohibiting the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles from giving records to federal immigration agents.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security retaliated, saying it would no longer allow New Yorkers to enroll, or renew their membership in, certain federal programs that make it easier for people traveling internationally to get through border security, including Global Entry.

In announcing the change, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said New York had endangered public safety by barring federal agents from quickly accessing vehicle and criminal records to check for fugitive warrants or confirm someone’s identification.

The ouster is expected to affect at least 175,000 New Yorkers now enrolled in the programs, who will be kicked out as their permits expire, plus around 30,000 commercial truck drivers enrolled in a program that eases their crossings into the U.S. from Canada.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who will oversee the lawsuit, called their removal from the program “political retribution, plain and simple.” In the suit, she will argue that the Trump administration’s action is arbitrary and has violated New York’s sovereign immunity and the equal rights and privileges of all New Yorkers.

“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,” James said in a statement.

Cuomo called the move to block New Yorkers a “joke” Friday and said the president could simply ask the FBI for criminal records in New York.

Several other states have similar policies of allowing immigrants in the country illegally to get driver’s licenses, but New York is the only state that bans the sharing of motor vehicle records with immigration agents, Department of Homeland Security officials said.

Trump has been singling out New York in recent months for especially harsh criticism over so-called sanctuary policies for immigrants.

The president assailed New York City officials in his State of the Union address over its policy of not turning over some criminal defendants wanted for immigration violations. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also recently sent subpoenas to law enforcement in Denver and New York seeking information on immigrants they hope to deport.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Can anyone trust N y. Didn’t they give us No bail and release all criminals did they not give us sanctuary city’s
    President is correct don’t trust NYS

  2. I don’t understand. This is a special skip the line policy. It’s intended for those that are vetted to be safe. A motor vehicles record is the way you check if one is safe etc.. how else should the Tsa do it’s job if you ban the sharing of the info?

    Can anyone propose an alternative ?

  3. As usual your comment borders on uneducated stupidity. The program does an in depth background check, and the DMV has absolutely nothing to do with the results. I for one who has a waiver, a special L3 class gained many years ago, did not even have to submit an application. If they approved me, they can approve anyone. Just because the shoita in the WH has petty grudges, does not mean citizens, yes TAX paying citizens need to be inconvenienced.

    • Its actually a quite educated comment. Its you under your ten lying sceen names that actually sound like the stupid dumb one. Nowadays anything you apply for they ask for drivers licenese. Even Life insurance companies check out your record. A driving record says alot about the person. I would not want for examplem someone who had multiple DWI violations to pass thru quick screening.

      Sure the DMV has to do with the the in depth background check. its one of many factors.

      I don’t beieve your nonsense yoni, that you have that L3 waiver. In fact look guys we have another military contractor on VIN. What a prestigious website. We have yonasonw and Paulin and now Gersey who all claim to be miltiary perosnel. Does anyone believe that malarkey?

      Anyhow even if you have one, thats a special clearance that you got and its not the typical. The typical way of ensuring safety is via a DMV record. Trump has a right and responiblity to keep us safe. NY is over the top.

  4. The world recognizes that NYS is Chelm. How so? If you break the law by being an undocumented alien (your mere presence is breaking the law) you can nonetheless get a NYS driver’s license. If, however, you’re an American citizen, and run into hard times and break the law by owing income tax to NYS, then NYS has the right (since 2018) to take away your driver’s license. Olam hafuch!

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