Trump administration lifts ban on New Yorkers enrolling in Global Entry program

Trump administration lifts ban on New Yorkers enrolling in Global Entry program
© getty: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)

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.

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"I am glad that this issue has finally been resolved for all New Yorkers,” Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMarlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup New York may be undercounting coronavirus deaths in nursing homes: AP MORE (D) said in a statement.

Despite the announcement, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfFederal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Watch live: Acting DHS chief testifies on deployment of federal agents to protests 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.