DHS considered multiple ways to retaliate against 'sanctuary' states: report

DHS considered multiple ways to retaliate against 'sanctuary' states: report
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considered a slew of options to retaliate against so-called "sanctuary" states before settling on limiting Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTPs) for New York residents, according to a Monday report by BuzzFeed News.

In a memo last month, the acting head of the DHS policy office, James McCament, reportedly wrote to Acting Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfLawmakers slam DHS watchdog following report calling for 'multi-year transformation' Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave MORE detailing the pros and cons of different measures to retaliate against and mitigate the effects of local sanctuary policies.

BuzzFeed reports that the memo also explored the possibility of using states "friendly" to Trump administration immigration policies to obtain information restricted by sanctuary policies.


Wolf last week announced on Fox News that New York residents would be restricted from applying or renewing TTP benefits in response to the state's Green Light Law, which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for and obtain state driver's licenses while banning the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing driver records with federal immigration authorities.

The No. 2 official at DHS, Ken Cuccinelli, last week said New York's law was reintroducing "the main problem … that allowed 9/11 to happen."

Cuccinelli added that, aside from blocking New Yorkers from TTPs, federal authorities would also process vehicle exports from the state "the old fashioned way."

According to BuzzFeed, the proposal memo from McCament to Wolf listed pros and cons for each policy option.

The memo included slow-walking of automobile registrations as one of the last options to consider, listing "low impact/unlikely to effectuate change" as a con.

The top option considered by McCament was to request New York driver information through cooperative states within the REAL ID program, which requires participant jurisdictions to share information with each other.


The pros for that option included "a path for DHS to obtain the information that uncooperative states refuse to provide, but it would also be able to be achieved with a level of discretion that may not be possible with other potential options."

The REAL ID approach was deemed less attractive because it could send the message that states could avoid compliance with federal authorities without direct consequences.

McCament also proposed de-prioritizing Transportation Safety Authority resources for Pre-Check lines in targeted airports, with potential blow-back from the travel industry and the general public.

According to the report, slowing down immigration processing times in certain jurisdictions was also considered, as was authorizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to seek a subpoena for all licenses granted to undocumented immigrants.

The possibility of no longer accepting New York state identifications for any DHS business was also floated, but with the warning that it was likely to incite litigation and was "legally dubious."