The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is halting enrollments of New York residents into Trusted Traveler Programs over the state’s recent law forbidding the transfer of driver’s license information to the DHS.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced exclusively on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight that the agency would enact the suspension immediately.
.@DHSgov notified New York DMV that New York residents can no longer enroll or re-enroll in certain trusted traveler programs like Global Entry because we no longer have access to NY data to ensure that their residents meet those program requirements. We must do our job. pic.twitter.com/Fyj7srjy8n
— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) February 6, 2020
Wolf explained that the Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) allow expedited processing based on states’ assistance in verifying travelers’ identities. However, the state’s Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act, which went into effect in December, now forbids the state from providing that relevant information to the agency.
Wolf said the law “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for TTP membership meets program eligibility requirements.”
Wolf explained the agencies “are using personal data that they get from that database to look up an individual’s date of birth, their photo, and they are using that as they build that case,” adding, “they can no longer do that because of what New York did.”
“We no longer have access to make sure that they meet those program requirements,” he said.
Fox News obtained a letter Wolf sent to New York officials informing them of the newly suspended enrollments.
“Although DHS would prefer to continue our long-standing cooperative relationship with New York … this Act and the corresponding lack of security cooperation from the New York DMV requires DHS to take immediate action to ensure DHS’s efforts to protect the Homeland are not compromised,” Wolf wrote in the letter.
Wolf noted that the traveler programs’ suspension came from a preliminary assessment conducted by the agency, and that further action may be necessary upon a department-wide review.
Wolf also pointed out the overall detriment caused by the law in the pursuit of criminals.
“In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids,” Wolf wrote. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”