(RightWing.org) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dramatically raised the stakes on so-called “sanctuary” laws Wednesday. Liberal state and city politicians have been using these laws to sabotage the administration’s immigration and security policies. Now DHS has sent a message to states: If they won’t accept the obligations of federal law, they’re not going to get its benefits either.
Talking to Fox News on Wednesday night, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf criticized New York’s latest attempts to shield illegal immigrants from justice, and let the state government know that this behavior has consequences.
- Last December, New York – which already has several laws banning state officials from cooperating with federal immigration agencies – prohibited state DMVs from sharing criminal records with Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- ICE relies heavily on DMV records for identifying illegal immigrants with criminal records. According to DHS, last year information from New York DMVs led to hundreds of arrests, including over 200 gang members, and the seizure of thousands of pounds of narcotics.
- In retaliation for this latest law, Wolf says DHS is immediately suspending Global Entry and some other Trusted Traveler programs for all residents of New York state. These programs make it easier to get through US immigration. For example, Global Entry program members can clear immigration at an automated terminal by scanning their passport or permanent resident card, and verifying their fingerprints.
- Global Entry is available to citizens of eleven nations, including the UK, South Korea, Switzerland and India. Tens of thousands of nationals of these countries live in New York.
- New York residents will also be barred from the NEXUS and SENTRI programs, which cover Canadian and Mexican nationals. There are hundreds of thousands of them in New York.
- Finally, the FAST program allows commercial truck drivers to be quickly processed in and out of the US. New York residents just lost their eligibility for this, too.
- When New York passed the law banning DMVs from sharing criminal records, illegals flocked to the offices to obtain driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.
- According to Wolf, the new law means CBP can’t verify whether or not New York residents are eligible for Global Entry and the other Trusted Traveler programs. Only travelers classed as low-risk are eligible for these programs, and that means anyone with a serious criminal record is ruled out.
- Wolf says the programs rely on states to verify the identity and eligibility of Trusted Travelers, and New York isn’t doing this to an acceptable standard. Now hundreds of thousands of legal residents will suffer slower journeys and extra inconvenience so state politicians can keep virtue-signaling.
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