Policy Barring New Yorkers from Enrolling in Global Entry Reversed

By Kurt Stolz on 23 July 2020
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The lower Manhattan skyline

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reversed a decision that dates back to February that barred New York residents from applying to join trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry.

In early February, the agency began to refuse to process new applications and renewals from state residents for trusted-traveler programs in a dispute over a state law that would give driver’s licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

The law, which went into effect last December, was designed to shield driver’s license records from federal immigration authorities, who typically would use such records in the course of deportations.

The agency contended that New York State was an outlier in limiting access to such records and, as a result, endangering national security.  As a result, its records could not, officials insisted, be used when individuals from the state applied for a trusted traveler program.

On Thursday, lawyers for the federal government admitted in a filing that several other states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories also restricted access to motor vehicle records. The filings were made in response to a lawsuit by New York State and the New York Civil Liberties Union over the decision to bar the state from the program.

Given these facts, the filing said, “The acting secretary of homeland security has decided to restore New York residents’ access to the Trusted Traveler Programs, effective immediately.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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