Feb 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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.

  • The lawsuit calls the ban "political retribution" for New York's law allowing people without legal immigration status to obtain driver's licenses in the state.

What they're saying: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the suit, said at a news conference that President Trump is "punishing New York for passing its own laws" and that the administration's action is a "full-on attack on New York's rights as a sovereign state."

  • "No one should ever use our nation's security as a political weapon, let alone the commander in chief," she said. "The Trump administration’s new policy not only negatively impacts travelers, workers, commerce and our economy, but it jeopardizes public safety."

The other side: Wolf, who's named in the suit, tweeted Sunday, "This has nothing to do with illegal aliens receiving drivers licenses. NY is the ONLY state to shut off CBP access to DMV records used for law enforcement purposes in our homeland security mission. Without access, CBP cannot vet Trusted Traveler applicants. It’s that simple."

  • Axios has contacted the Trump administration for further comment.

Read the lawsuit:

Go deeper:

DHS suspends Global Entry enrollment for New Yorkers

Justice Department files new immigration lawsuits against "sanctuary" areas

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.

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.

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.