New Yorkers No Longer Allowed to Enroll in Trusted Traveler Programs: DHS Secretary

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
February 6, 2020US News
New Yorkers No Longer Allowed to Enroll in Trusted Traveler Programs: DHS Secretary
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy, and Plans Chad Wolf gestures after a meeting with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez (out of frame) at the presidential house in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Jan. 9, 2020. (Orlando Sierra/AFP via Getty Images)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is no longer allowing New Yorkers to enroll in Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs, DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf announced on Wednesday.

The move stems from New York state’s recently passed law that lets illegal immigrants apply for driver’s licenses without providing a social security number.

New Yorkers won’t be allowed to enroll or re-enroll in the Trusted Traveler Programs run by Customs and Border Protection, including Global Entry.

“Today, we sent a letter to New York indicating, because they took these measures, that New York residents are no longer eligible to enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs,” Wolf said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

New York residents can’t join or stay in the programs “because we no longer have access to make sure that they meet those program requirements, so we need to do our job,” Wolf added.

Global Entry enables faster clearance when people go through customs when arriving in the United States; NEXUS enables quicker border crossing for enrollees traveling between the United States and Canada; the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, or SENTRI, facilitates faster clearance for travelers when they enter the United States; and the Free and Secure Trade program, or FAST, helps commercial shipments crossing the U.S. border from Canada or Mexico get quicker clearance.

DHS sent a letter to New York state officials informing them of the change. The state’s new law that lets illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses precludes Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which are both part of DHS, from “accessing and validating pertinent information contained in New York DMV records that is operationally critical in DHS’s efforts to keep our nation secure,” Wolf wrote.

An ICE agent takes part in an operation
An ICE agent takes part in an operation in a file photograph. (ICE)

The state Department of Motor Vehicle records have been used by immigration officers to verify or corroborate suspects’ date of birth, height, and other personally identifiable information. The records are also used to help identify targets, witnesses, and victims.

Wolf ordered a review on Dec. 31 of New York’s state law, known as The Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act.

Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, told news outlets in a statement that the state was going to review the change implemented by Wolf this week.

“This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options,” Azzopardi said.

The move by DHS came after President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address on Tuesday criticized cities that use so-called sanctuary policies to shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement.

“Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal, illegal aliens,” he said. “In sanctuary cities local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed.”

The Trump administration tried blocking New York’s law last year but the lawsuit was dismissed.

From The Epoch Times

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