New Yorkers will again be allowed access to federal travel programs after the Trump administration earlier restricted their access, the Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday.
The Department of Homeland Security in February barred New Yorkers from the federal Global Entry and Trusted Traveler programs, citing a state law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses.
While that law remains on the books, New York lawmakers amended it in April to allow federal officials to access the driving records of applicants to the programs, The Associated Press reported.
"I am glad that this issue has finally been resolved for all New Yorkers,” Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDocuments show CNN's Cuomo asking top aide: 'Please let me help' defend brother Andrew Rep. Suozzi to run for New York governor Will media portrayals of Rittenhouse lead to another day in court? MORE (D) said in a statement.
Despite the announcement, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfAfter a year of blatant ethics violations, Congress must reform corruption laws Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Stephen Miller, Kayleigh McEnany Watchdog cites 13 Trump officials who violated Hatch Act before 2020 election MORE blasted the state law in the DHS statement.
“We appreciate the information sharing to CBP for the trusted travel program, which enables DHS to move forward and begin once again processing New York residents under the Trusted Travel Program,” Wolf said in a statement Thursday.
“Nonetheless, local New York law continues to maintain provisions that undermine the security of the American people and purport to criminalize information sharing between law enforcement entities,” he added.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), who sued over the restrictions in February, hailed the announcement Thursday.
"This policy was political retribution, plain and simple, which is why we filed our lawsuit to stop the president from targeting and punishing New Yorkers in the first place," she said in a statement. "We will continue to defend New York’s right to pass its own laws and will fight to protect our state’s residents anytime they are bullied by the president because safety and fairness are not mutually exclusive under the law.”
International travel has plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic, with several countries restricting or outright barring entry by Americans as cases in the U.S. spike.