DHS Announces Dramatic Crackdown on New York State Over Sanctuary Law


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.

Ultimate Disrespect: Did Biden Doze Off During Memorial Day Address?

“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.

According to the letter to New York obtained by Fox, the New York “Green Light Law” keeps the DHS from accessing information such as an individual’s criminal history.

Do you think the DHS was right to suspend New York residents' eligibility for these programs?

“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.

High Schoolers' Soccer Game Canceled After Apparent African Migrants Refuse to Leave the Field

“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.”

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith