The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it will no longer allow New York state residents to enroll in programs intended to expedite international travel because of a state law that blocks immigration authorities from accessing motor vehicle records.
New York’s “Green Light” law, which took effect in December, allows immigrants without legal status to apply for driver’s licenses. It also includes a provision barring state DMV officials from sharing data with immigration authorities unless a judge orders them to do so.
“If sanctuary city politicians and sanctuary state, as well, won’t keep their people safe, we’ll do the best we can to keep them safe,” Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy DHS secretary, said on a call with reporters today.
Cuccinelli said the New York law makes it more difficult for federal law enforcement officers to determine whether they’re dealing with dangerous criminals. In response, Cuccinelli said New York residents will be prohibited from enrolling in several DHS programs for “trusted travelers,” including Global Entry and NEXUS, which are intended to expedite security screening at ports of entry. (TSA PreCheck is not affected.)
A spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the state law in June, called the Trump administration’s move “political retaliation” and says the state is considering its legal options.
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