30,000 Truckers Caught in Trump vs. Cuomo Political Feud Get Good News
Albany, NY – A compromise has been reached in a five-month-long political standoff between the Trump Administration and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that is good news for approximately 30,000 truckers.
In February, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced sweeping changes impacting more than 200,000 New Yorkers (including 30,000 truckers) enrolled in certain Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP).
The DHS began prohibiting New Yorkers from applying for or renewing their enrollment in certain TTPs in response to New York implementing the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light Law), which grants illegal immigrants the right to obtain driver’s licenses and prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from sharing information with DHS.
As it related to truckers, the action began phasing out as many as 30,000 New York truckers currently enrolled in the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.
The FAST program allows for expedited processing at U.S. ports of entry for commercial carriers who have completed background checks and fulfill certain eligibility requirements.
DHS argued that added security measures were needed because the Green Light Law prevented U.S. Customs and Border Security (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from “fully vetting” New York residents applying for TTPs.
After a more than a five month political feud, President Trump and Governor Cuomo have come to a resolution.
On Thursday, DHS announced it will lift its ban on the TTP for New York residents.
In a statement, DHS said, “New York amended the Green Light Law to expressly allow for information-sharing of NY DMV records ‘as necessary for an individual seeking acceptance into a trusted traveler program, or to facilitate vehicle imports and/or exports.'”
However, DHS did not get everything it wanted.
“Unfortunately, New York State continues to restrict sharing DMV information with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for other enforcement efforts. The State further recently created new criminal penalties for individuals or entities, including law enforcement officials, who share such information with CBP and ICE,” DHS said.
“The Green Light Law ultimately undermines the efforts of law enforcement officers, criminalizing their mission to secure the nation and the American people from threats and furthering the risk to their own lives,” Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said. “When jurisdictions like New York fail to cooperate with federal authorities, they operate more like refuges from criminal behavior, not sanctuary havens.”
A DHS spokesperson says leaders are currently working with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to “determine appropriate legal actions to address these problems.”
Despite the compromise, Governor Cuomo maintains the DHS ban was all about “playing politics” and retribution for providing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.
Photo courtesy CBP