New York State to Sue Trump Admin for Banning New Yorkers from Trusted Traveler Programs

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The State of New York will file a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over a new policy prohibiting New Yorkers from enrolling or re-enrolling in the Trusted Traveler Programs, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements the Trusted Traveler Programs including the Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST.  These programs provide secure and expedited processing for pre-approved, low-risk travelers.

On Thursday, the CBP announced New Yorkers “will no longer be eligible to apply for or renew membership” in the Trusted Traveler Programs. The agency will cancel all pending applications submitted by New Yorkers and will automatically issue refunds.

The CBP explained that its decision was due to state legislation that prohibits it from accessing certain criminal history information maintained by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In a statement, CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said, “Nothing is more important than the safety of the United States and our citizens, and the New York Green Light law makes us less safe and shields criminals.”

“We recognize that many New York residents and businesses will be negatively affected by this change, but we cannot compromise the safety and security of our homeland. When states take negative measures that hinder our ability to protect our great country, we must respond,” he added.

Last year, Gov. Cuomo signed the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light NY). The law allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.

Gov. Cuomo claims the new federal policy is a “politically-motivated ban”

On Friday, Gov. Cuomo said the federal government’s new policy is a “punishment” to New York and other blue states for “refusing” to follow the dangerous and divisive agenda of President Donald Trump and his Washington enablers.

He added that the new policy is another example of the Trump 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,” said Gov. Cuomo

New York State Attorney General Letitia James will be responsible for filing the lawsuit against the Trump administration. She will argue that the DHS violated the state’s sovereign immunity. She will also argue that the department’s action is “arbitrary and capricious.”

“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… We will not allow New Yorkers to be targeted or bullied by an authoritarian thug,” said AG James.