The Department of Homeland Security has suspended enrollment in several Trusted Traveler Programs for New York state residents in response to New York’s sanctuary “Green Light Law.”
The “Green Light Law,” or Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, took effect December. It allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses or learner permits, regardless of immigration status. Foreign documents, like passports, can also be used to obtain these licenses.
More importantly, the act prohibits U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from accessing information in New York Department of Motor Vehicles records, which are vital to confirm eligibility for Trusted Traveler Programs.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf confirmed the news of the suspended enrollment in these programs to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night.
“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,” he said.
“They can’t enroll or re-enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs that Customs and Border Protection offers because we no longer have access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”
The Trusted Traveler Programs impacted include Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST. TSA PreCheck is not affected, a DHS official told Fox News.
“An individual’s criminal history affects their eligibility for TTP membership,” Wolf wrote.
“TTP permits expedited processing into the United States from: international destinations (under Global Entry); Canada only (under NEXUS); and Canada and Mexico only (under SENTRI). TTP also allows quicker processing for commercial truck drivers entering or exiting the United States (under FAST).”
This announcement came a day after President Trump criticized the state of New York’s sanctuary policies in his State of the Union address.
“Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman,” he said. “The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.”
A senior adviser for Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN that the state would be reviewing the DHS directive.
“This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options,” Rich Azzopardi said.
Former acting ICE Director John Sandweg added that “sanctuary policies in no way shape or form affect DHS’ ability to vet people for Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs.”
However, Wolf maintained that “this Act and the corresponding lack of security cooperation from the New York DMV requires DHS to take immediate action to ensure DHS’s efforts to protect the Homeland are not compromised.”
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