The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Wednesday that it was suspending thousands of New Yorkers from the U.S. Trusted Travelers Program (TTP).
DHS said it made the move after leftist state officials enacted a sanctuary “Green Light Law” which allowed illegal immigrants to obtain New York drivers’ licenses without having their information reported to federal enforcement agencies.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations Todd Owen told Fox News on Thursday that approximately 86,000 New Yorkers would be affected immediately. Owen said that included those with pending applications to join Global Entry and other TTP, and those up for renewal. People with current memberships in TTP would not be affected until their renewal dates.
Affected TTP includes Global Entry (which expedites entry into the U.S. from international destinations); NEXUS (Canada only); SENTRI (Canada and Mexico only); and FAST (quicker processing for commercial truck drivers entering or leaving the U.S.)
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf made the announcement on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday.
Wolf said New York’s Green Light Law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for TTP membership meets program eligibility requirements.”
“This Act and the corresponding lack of security cooperation from the New York DMV requires DHS to take immediate action to ensure DHS’ s efforts to protect the Homeland are not compromised,” Wolf added.
After the Green Light Law took effect in December, large numbers of illegal immigrants rushed to New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) offices. The law also permitted applicants to use foreign documents, including passports, to be submitted in order to obtain licenses.
In a letter to top New York state officials obtained exclusively by Fox News, Wolf noted that the New York law prohibited DMV agencies across the state from sharing criminal records with CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids,” Wolf wrote. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”
Owen specified Thursday that that only New York DMV records contain accessible information concerning DUIs and aggravated traffic offenses, including misdemeanors and felonies, which have been necessary to vet applicants to TTP.