State Sues Feds Over Travel Ban

Says policy unfairly targets New Yorkers

The State of New York sued the federal government this week over a policy that bans its residents from participating in Trusted Traveler programs that allow them to move faster over the border or through airport security.

On Feb. 5, the Department of Homeland Security informed the state Department of Motor Vehicles that New York residents can no longer enroll or re-enroll in programs such as Global Entry, TSA Pre, SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST “due to state legislation that restricts Custom and Border Protection’s access to criminal-history records and other critical vetting information that compromise the safety and security of the United States and its citizens,” a reference to the state’s enactment of a “green light” law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. Thirteen other states and Washington, D.C., have similar laws.

New York State said that 50,000 residents have been conditionally approved for Global Entry but have not completed their interviews, and another 30,000 applications are pending. The memberships of 175,000 New Yorkers expire this year.

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