New York State and the Federal Department of Homeland Security are at odds over a new ban placed on New York travelers. New York State residents who have paid for special Preclearance travel cards that help them get back-and-forth across the border, faster, will now be banned from using them once they expire. As of this past week, Homeland Security will no longer allow New York residents to sign up for, or renew, their NEXUS or FAST cards that fall under the Global Entry & Trusted Traveler Program.
The ban was put in place after New York’s new Green Light law went into effect in December. 15 states and the District of Columbia all have passed the law which allows undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. But only New York residents have been banned from using the Trusted Traveler program. North Country Assemblyman Billy Jones says that’s because in passing the Green Light Law, the state took away the authority to allow federal immigration officers access to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle database. Jones this week proposed an amendment to the Green Light Law to allow federal agents access to those DMV records. Governor Cuomo said he’s willing to allow Homeland Security access to DMV records, but only for those people enrolled in the Trusted Traveler Program. Cuomo traveled to the White House on Thursday to meet with President Trump to discuss the ban. The acting director of Homeland Security said the President and Governor has a “productive” meeting, but did not come to any resolution to lift the ban.