During the State of the Union address, President Trump made reference to the sanctuary policies in place in a number of states and cities, seemingly suggesting that he would be doing something about the situation in the near future. Well, that didn’t take long at all. Last night the Department of Homeland Security announced that travelers from New York State would be disqualified from participation in various “Trusted Traveler” programs that allow faster entrance to the country at airports and other immigration checkpoints. The reason? New York’s new law allowing driver’s licenses for illegal aliens and other sanctuary policies now make it impossible for CBP to properly vet them. (WaPo)
The Trump administration will no longer allow New York residents to enroll in Global Entry or other Trusted Traveler programs, citing new “sanctuary” policies that limit federal access to state driver’s license data, acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf said on Fox News late Wednesday.
Wolf told host Tucker Carlson that he sent a letter to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles informing the agency that the state’s new limits on information-sharing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection made it impossible for federal authorities to process travelers’ applications for Global Entry and other programs.
The measure appears to be one of the Trump administration’s most significant retaliatory moves against “sanctuary cities” and other jurisdictions that limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
The law in question is New York’s Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act also referred to as the Green Light Law. In yet another attempt to RESIST Trump, New York Democrats passed the law that removed any requirement to prove your citizenship status when applying for a driver’s license or state ID card. The act also forbade the sharing of any information on the license or ID application with federal immigration officials.
But it turns out that Andrew Cuomo and his fellow New York Democrats have fallen into their own trap. They will now be the cause of significant inconvenience for tens of thousands of frequent travelers from New York who apply for the Trusted Traveler programs. If CPB can’t access their information to do thorough background checks, they can’t be approved for the programs.
There are three programs that are primarily affected by this change. Global Entry allows flyers arriving in the country at major airports to skip the lines at customs and simply scan their passport and fingerprint at a kiosk and head for the baggage claim area. (If you’ve ever waited in the customs line you know what a nightmare it is.) SENTRI is the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection program. Approved travelers use this to access a special, dedicated lane when entering the country from Mexico. NEXUS is basically the same thing as SENTRI, except it applies to travelers coming into the United States from Canada.
All of these programs receive many applications every year because of the huge convenience they provide, and New York is one of the busiest access points for people coming to America. But now New Yorkers will be stuck waiting in those long lines because New York’s Democrats were so desperate to coddle and protect illegal aliens and thwart the efforts of federal immigration officials. Maybe once the effects begin to wear on them they’ll keep those aggravating experiences in mind next time they go to the polls to vote.