Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

DHS suspends Global Entry enrollment for New Yorkers

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf during a press conference in Miami, on Jan. 29. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security sent New York officials a letter Wednesday stating that New Yorkers could no longer enroll in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs because of a state law preventing federal immigration officials from accessing vehicle records without a court order.

What they're saying: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that the department had sent the letter in response to the state passing the "Green Light Law," which allows people without legal immigration status to obtain driver's licenses in the state.

  • "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," Wolf said.
  • Axios has contacted the DHS for comment.

Of note: The crackdown comes after President Trump criticized New York, a sanctuary city that provides protections to immigrants, in his State of the Union address Tuesday, AP notes.

The other side: Rich Azzopardi, senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), said in a statement to Axios, "This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we're going to review our legal options."

  • Cuomo told WAMC radio network on Thursday, "This is unbounded arrogance, disrespect of the rule of law, hyper-political government, and this is another form of extortion."

Read the letter:

Go deeper: N.Y. passes bill giving undocumented migrants right to driver's licenses

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Cuomo's comments.

Go deeper

New York to sue over DHS suspending Global Entry enrollment

Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 27 in Poland ahead of a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New York plans to sue the federal government over the Department of Homeland Security's decision to ban New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs because of a state law preventing federal immigration officials from accessing vehicle records without a court order.

What he's saying: Cuomo on Friday called the plan a "ham-handed political tactic" by the Trump administration that "hurts New Yorkers," as part of his announcement that the state plans to sue.

New York lawsuit calls Trump admin Global Entry ban "unconstitutional"

New York Attorney General Letitia James at a November news conference in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Monday, calling a Department of Homeland Security move to ban New Yorkers from enrolling in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs "discriminatory," "unlawful" and "unconstitutional."

Driving the news: Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News last Thursday that the department was blocking New Yorkers from the programs in response to the state passing the "Green Light Law," preventing federal immigration officials from accessing vehicle records without a court order.

Justice Department files new immigration lawsuits against "sanctuary" areas

Attorney General Bill Barr Photo: Leah Millis-Pool/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday announced a slew of lawsuits targeting New Jersey, California and King County, Washington, over laws and policies that the agency claims make it harder to enforce federal immigration law.

Why it matters: The administration has long railed against "sanctuary cities" and has been rolling out retaliatory actions against states, counties and cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement.