NEW YORK — President Donald Trump is giving New York the California treatment.
Wednesday night’s surprise suspension of Global Entry and other trusted traveler programs for New Yorkers put a Trump administration target on New York, an escalation that comes after weeks of feuding over the state’s immigrant-friendly policies.
The latest actions — which state and New York City officials call political retaliation — foist New York into a position familiar to California, which has long borne the brunt of policy blows from an administration unhappy about its liberal approach to governance.
The Department of Homeland Security announced it will block New Yorkers from enrolling in programs that allow vetted travelers to breeze through airport lines, including the popular Global Entry program that can cut hours off of time spent in customs lines. The administration blamed a new state lawgranting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
“As we get closer to the November election, we’re going to see more and more of these unhinged efforts,” said Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Donald Trump thinks that states like New York and California are convenient foils for him to throw red meat to his base.”….
New York officials confirmed on Friday that they will sue the Department of Homeland Security over its decision to block state residents from participating in expedited border-crossing programs.
“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,” Attorney General Tish James said in a release. “We will not allow New Yorkers to be targeted or bullied by an authoritarian thug.”
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday night that New York residents are no longer eligible to enroll or renew in programs like Global Entry or NEXUS due to the state’s new law letting undocumented immigrants obtain driver’s licenses. The law prohibits Departments of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with federal immigration enforcement agencies; DHS has argued that this information is necessary to screen applicants for these programs.
The federal government “is able to offer Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry because we are able to use DMV data to make an evidence-based assessment that those individuals who seek this benefit are low risk and meet the eligibility requirements,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf in a statement on Thursday. “Without the DMV information we aren’t able to make that assessment.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo dismissed this line of reasoning at a news conference on Friday afternoon.
“You don’t have to be a licensed driver to qualify for the federal trusted traveler program. It is pure politics,” he said.
Cuomo compared the Trump administration’s actions to its involvement in Ukraine that led to the president’s impeachment….