Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York state will file suit, after it was taken by surprise Wednesday night when the Trump administration declared that New Yorkers would no longer be eligible for services like Global Entry. The program enables international air travelers to expedite their trips with shorter security lines.
The justification, according the Trump administration, is New York’s new Green Light law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. That law also blocks the Department of Homeland Security from reviewing DMV data.
“What is the possible justification for turning off the ‘trusted traveler program’? To extort me to give you the records? I never will. I never will. And don’t try to extort me. And don’t try to extort New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.
15 others states also provide licenses to undocumented immigrants, but critics say New York’s law goes a step further than all of them by blocking the DMV data from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
In a statement, State Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan says, “While New York vies to be the most liberal, it failed to listen to ICE’s plea for access too. ICE has used the DMV database to apprehend criminals.”
The federal directive comes the same week Trump took a victory lap at a press conference after being acquitted at his impeachment trial.
“He was not found innocent. He was celebrating and suggesting a falsity,” Cuomo said. “He was acquitted, he was not exonerated.”
At his press conference, Trump also vowed to settle scores. In an appearance on Mornings on 1 on Friday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believed Trump was being personal and vindictive.
“80 percent of New Yorkers said they did not want Donald Trump to be president. That was their right under a democracy. I think he never got over that to begin with,” the mayor said. “It is an attack on New York City. It is an attack on New York state. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
The Trump directive affects Global Entry but does not affect TSA PreCheck or other companies that provide the same service. The lawsuit will claim that it is an arbitrary attack specifically on New Yorkers.