New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Feb. 10 that shed filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over a new rule that bars residents of the state from enrolling and reenrolling in the federal governments Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP).
Under the new policy, which came into effect on Feb. 6, New York residents are no longer eligible to apply for or renew their membership in programs such as Global Entry and other programs that allow for faster entry to select countries for preapproved travelers.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said the policy was in response to a recent New York state law that prohibits U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) access to information such as criminal history maintained by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Without this information, the CBP is unable to complete security checks for its TTP applications and renewals submitted by New York residents, the department said.
The law, known as the Drivers License Access and Privacy Act, or the Green Light Law, allows individuals to obtain a New York drivers license without a Social Security number, regardless of their citizenship or lawful status in the United States. It also bars the release of the applicants personal information to federal immigration authorities except when requested under a court order or judicial warrant. It was enacted in June and took effect in December.
James has claimed that the administrations move was “political retribution for the States enactment of legislation that the federal government disfavors.” She argues in her complaint (pdf) that the administrations decision to bar New York residents from the programs poses a threat to New York residents safety and the states economy; directly harms hundreds of thousands of individual residents; and interferes with New Yorks rights as a sovereign state.
“New Yorkers will not be held hostage by an Administration intent on restraining the sovereign rights of states, while it simultaneously enacts discriminatory policies across the country,” James said in a statement.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo backed the lawsuit, accusing the administration of “unfairly and illegally” targeting the state.
The New York attorney general argues that the policy contravenes the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which called on the DHS to create an international registered traveler program for use by all states and territories of the United States. She also said the program is punitive in nature and is intended to “single out” New York and force the state to change its policies to conform with federal ones.
The state also claims that the admins policy change is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment, the Tenth Amendments guarantee of equal sovereignty among the states, the Tenth Amendments prohibition on coercive federal action, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf explained in a statement on Feb. 6 that the federal government was forced to make the policy change to “ensure the integrity” of their travel programs. He said the CBP uses the data shared by the DMV for national security purposes to ensure safe and lawful trade and travel, helping officers to make an evidence-based assessment of individuals seeking to enroll in the program.
“Its very clear: this irresponsible action has consequences,” Wolf said about the Green Light law. “An aspect of the law which Im most concerned abouRead More – Source