New York’s next fight with the Trump administration may determine how fast state residents get through security checks at the airport.
Letitia James, the state’s attorney general, said on Friday she’ll sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over a new policy barring New Yorkers from enrolling in the federal government’s Trusted Traveler Programs, such as Global Entry, which let pre-screened passengers zip through passport control and customs.
DHS announced the plan this week, saying the restriction is necessary as a result of a fresh New York law that allows undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. James called the temporary policy a “shortsighted crusade” that will harm the state’s economy.
James, an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, has previously sued the administration over several immigration policies, including the so-called Muslim travel ban and restrictions on residency for undocumented minors who were taken to the U.S. by their parents.
“This is political retribution, plain and simple, and while the president may want to punish New York for standing up to his xenophobic policies, we will not back down,” James said in the statement.
In a letter to New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles, DHS said the new state law bars the agency from sharing information that the federal government needs in order to determine an individual’s qualification for the programs, such as criminal history.
New York residents currently enrolled in the Global Entry program can continue using their passes until they expire, but between 150,000 and 200,000 a year will be unable to renew their participation, acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said yesterday.
The department didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the state’s threatened litigation.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Trump’s plan is tantamount to extortion.
“Time and time again President Trump and his Washington enablers have gone out of their way to hurt New York and other blue states whenever they can as punishment for refusing to fall in line with their dangerous and divisive agenda,” Cuomo said in the joint statement with James.
(c) 2020, Bloomberg · Erik Larson