New Yorkers Blocked from Fast-Track Travel Programs After Cuomo Bans DHS from Verifying State ID Records

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at his Midtown Manhattan office, September 14, 2018 in New York City. Cuomo discussed his primary night election victory as well as a range of other topics. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has blocked the state of New York from participating in a series of federal programs that fast-track travel for New Yorkers reentering the United States from international airports.

As Breitbart News reported, elected Democrats in New York state passed a law, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), this year that provides illegal aliens and noncitizens with driver’s licenses, including a provision that bans DHS officials from having access to state identification records.

The law makes it effectively impossible for federal immigration officials to quickly check the immigration status of anyone they come in contact with, meaning agents have no way to verify the validity of New York state-issued IDs.

“The Act prevents DHS from accessing relevant information that only New York DMV maintains, including some aspects of an individual’s criminal history,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf wrote in a letter to New York officials.

As a result, DHS has blocked New Yorkers from participating in fast-track travel programs such as Global Entry, which expedites entry into the U.S. from international airports; NEXUS, which expedites entry into the U.S. from Canada; SENTRI, which expedites travel into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico; as well as FAST, which expedites entry into the U.S. for truck drivers arriving from Canada and Mexico.

All of these programs fall under the federal Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP). The only TTP program unaffected by the DHS suspension is New Yorkers’ ability to use TSA PreCheck to expedite through security lines at U.S. airports.

DHS’s inability to cross-check New York state ID records means the federal agency would have no way to ensure that a TTP applicant does not have a criminal history before obtaining fast-track travel:

Having access to New York DMV information has enabled CBP to validate that an individual applying for Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) membership qualifies for low-risk status or meets other program requirements. An individual’s criminal history affects their eligibility for TTP membership. [Emphasis added]

In total, as many as 150,000 New Yorkers annually will no longer be able to participate in the TTP programs to fast-track their international travel due to the state’s barring DHS from accessing state ID records.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.  

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