The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that residents of New York will no longer be able to apply to Trusted Traveller Programs like Global Entry. The move comes after New York passed a law in December which allows unregistered immigrants to acquire driving licenses in the state.
Yesterday, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, announced that residents of New York will be barred from applying to the Global Entry, TSA Pre✓, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST Trusted Traveller Programmes. Trusted Traveller Programmes allow US citizens to apply for expedited travel privileges when entering the US.
Why have Federal authorities moved against New York?
Trusted Traveller Programme applications can be made using a US passport and one other form of official ID, such as an ID card or driving license. But a law passed by New York State in December has barred federal authorities like ICE and US Customs and Border Protection from accessing driver’s license records in the state.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, this means that these federal agencies can no longer check to see if an individual in the state has been convicted of driving offences. Additionally, New York State now allows illegal immigrants to apply for driving licenses without having to prove their citizenship.
As a result of the new laws passed by New York State, the Department of Homeland Security says it can longer accurately verify the citizenship rights and criminal offences of individuals in the state.
In an interview with Fox News, Chad Wolf outlined how the changes have affected the ability of federal agencies to identify individuals in New York state, saying “We no longer have access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”
President Trump has said that New York State’s new policy, and similar policies adopted by so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, allow “dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public.”
In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s move to bar New Yorkers from Trusted Traveller Programs, one of New York Governor’s Andrew Cuomo’s senior advisers, Richard Azzopardi, said:
“This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options.”
Is the Department of Homeland Security’s move fair?
While New Yorkers who have already signed up to one of the Trusted Traveller Programs can continue to use their rights as normal, the move by the Department of Homeland Security highlights the wide ideological gap between different parts of the US legislative system. Unfortunately, the aviation industry and travellers who fly to the US are often caught in the middle.
The Department of Homeland Security has a valid point about not being able to verify the previous convictions of individuals within New York State due to the new restrictions on driving license records. The ban means that New Yorkers will now have to wait a bit longer when passing through security in US airports.
According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state is looking into potential legal routes they can pursue to get the ban overturned.
Simple Flying has reached out to the US Department of Homeland Security for comment on its Trusted Traveller Programme ban, and will update this article once we receive a response.