5 Reasons The Trump Administration’s Ban On Global Entry For New Yorkers Is Bad Policy

In December New York State law began allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses and stopped sharing applicant information with immigration enforcement agencies.

Wednesday evening the Trump administration provided a copy of a letter sent to New York State officials to Fox News, and the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security went on the Tucker Carlson program announcing that because New York passed this law, “New York residents are no longer eligible to enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs” including Global Entry.

Currently-enrolled New Yorkers will be able to continue to use Global Entry, but not to renew it. Global Entry is how many travelers obtain TSA PreCheck.

Copyright: andreyuu / 123RF Stock Photo

Acting Secretary Wolf remarked that access to New York’s DMV database is relied upon heavily in Immigration and Customs Enforcement in making arrests and drug seizures. and Trusted Traveler Programs use DMV data as part of their identity verification process. New Yorkers will still, apparently, be allowed to separately sign up for PreCheck but will not be able to use PreCheck if obtaining access via Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS.

There are 5 reasons I’m highly concerned and skeptical of this new policy.

  1. Trusted Traveler programs have been able to continue to process New York residents successfully since New York’s new drivers license law went into effect, undermining the suggestion that it’s not possible for these programs to verify traveler identities.

  2. Continuing to allow New York residents to sign up for PreCheck on its own further suggests that the DMV law doesn’t preclude identity verification by Trusted Traveler programs.

  3. The fact that the new policy was announced by providing memos and an exclusive interview to Tucker Carlson suggests it’s political, designed to send a message, and aimed at the President’s base in an election year (‘owning the libs’).

  4. The Trump administration announced the policy on Fox News before even informing Customs and Border Protection of the change.

  5. It’s aimed squarely at citizens residing in New York in retribution for laws passed by its elected officials. The President expects to lose his home state of New York in the fall election regardless, so the move appears to come at low political cost.

For those who would argue that making American citizens take off their shoes in airports is somehow justified by immigration policy concerns, would this even be an issue if the President had succeeded in building a wall and making Mexico pay for it?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Racists making racist policies that will be defended by more racists. Just watch the comment section and you will know what I mean.

    Fact is this administration has been lying every time they make racist policies, only to be exposed later to be complete lies. Their base will gladly swallow any nonsensical crap to defend the racist actions.

  2. @Daniel – I do not see how he could have ‘already’ moved to Florida, a declaration of domicile filed in Florida court notwithstanding. He isn’t spending the majority of his time in Florida. He maintains a home in New York, and has continued business interests in New York. He may say he is or will be a Florida resident but based on current facts New York state tax authorities are likely to disagree.

  3. Guess NJ is next, pretty similar law just passed here too….. how early can you renew global reentry???

  4. Isn’t that just lovely. Was going to renew global entry but had to wait till mid month to do so (actually was going to get Nexus since I am on the US/Canada border).
    Now, a bunch of knit wit politicians are throwing tantrums.

  5. Everyday, the world will continue to read about how America spirals to the abyss. Decisions that have real-life impact on people’s lives and petty, vindictive measures to stroke egos. World leaders laugh at a president and an entire political party lines up daily to be part of his jerk-fest. I’m sure I am one of many foreigners that looked forward to trips to America who have said enough; there are hundreds of other amazing countries that we would rather give our money to. It’s too bad. I’ve been doing bi-annual trips to NYC for years. 2016 was the last time. I’ll wait til the hates subsides before booking again.

  6. Gary-

    Do you think shutting out NY will result in the agency with a $13 Billion (with a B) budget process renewals in, say, four months of application date?..

    How about five months?

  7. Can’t wait to see more NYers relocate to FL and vote against this President in November.

  8. Even as a Trump Supporter I find this assinine, and will have a terrible trickle down effect. I think i would rather lose an Arm or Leg then my precious Global Entry..

  9. Gary Leff,

    Do you seriously doubt that Trump claims Florida to be his residence for income tax purposes? And how about for voting purposes? 😉

    There are lots of Republican-supporting NYers who have a home and work and business interests in NY and yet claim Florida as their home for DL and voting purposes. And Donald J Trump born in 1946 is probably no exception. 😉

  10. >” Trusted Traveler programs have been able to continue to process New York residents successfully since New York’s new drivers license law went into effect, undermining the suggestion that it’s not possible for these programs to verify traveler identities.”

    This connection isn’t totally clear to me. Do you have inside knowledge about what vetting is done for PreCheck vs GE? It could be that the NY law creates a lot of extra work when processing NY applicants or that agents have to ignore certain questions asked in their paperwork causing some people to be denied. They could then increase the fee for NYers and hire more staff. Would you like that?

  11. Since a DUI disqualifies an applicant for GE, then of course having access to DMV records is critical. Why would NY’ers be exempt when everyone else isn’t?

    Your post itself is political.

    If you want to be fair and impartial, you would have posted the letter from the DHS to the NY authorities and let your readers be the judge whether it is political or not. DHS made a very clear case as to why they need access to DMV records.

    TSAPre is exempt from their action as it is a much lower threshold for approval than GE.

  12. Totally political and complete lunacy. Everyone will recognise just how low they stoop by announcing via Tucker Carlson. Rush Limbaugh wasn’t available, presumably.

  13. This decision is political. Admitting that, I respect it. The blatant lawlessness of NY state is unfreakingbelievable.
    I would rather they be punished in a difficult way but they definitely deserve to be punished

  14. Hilarious.

    But every NY voting for resistance policies should feel good that they are unearthing the bully that is Trump. Then repeat over and over While waiting in line to clear customs -“but of course illegals should be treated as citizens”. Then tap your heels three times and wake up.

    Stick to travel tips and credit cards don’t disguise your political views as policy prescriptions. Silly boy no one cares about your policy thoughts, just your credit card deal announcements.

  15. Great for America…
    Illegal criminals should be deported.
    The TDS is strong in this thread….lulz

    All of you “so-called” travelers, how many non third world shithole countries let you enter with criminal records, stay beyond your visa etc…

  16. Trvlguru,

    DUI arrest and conviction records are not uniquely in the possession of the DMV, so why hassle DMV if your concern is truly DUIs? 😉

  17. @TrvlGuru – Yes indeed, the threshold between the two are different. If Gary did his homework, he would know this. But when you’re morally bankrupt, there is no transparency, smh.

  18. @GUWonder he only just filed to claim Florida residency while in office but the facts and circumstances likely won’t be convincing at this time to NY taxing authorities.

  19. Poor Gary,

    You get criticized by those on the right wing and by those in the left wing, sometimes at the same time. It’s good to be independent … or at least it’s good for entertainment and business.

  20. If you could not complete a background check for GE you also could not complete a check on anyone from NY who applied for a government job. The US Census is hiring thousands of workers right now. They do complete background checks. How could they hire anyone is NY if this is an issue? If anyone from NY needed security clearance – it should also be a problem. How about if you used to live in NY? They would need to run the background check there.. why is that not a problem. So really this is not a real issue.

  21. @GUWonder ‘being independent’ and ‘taking stands’ is unquestionably ‘bad for business’ not good… I do it anyway because it’s who I am.

  22. Why didn’t the NY legislature create an exception process? (Or automatically grant access for global entry applicants?). No unlawful Immigrant would apply for GE anyway. Seems like this is on NY. Surely someone at DHS complained to them about the law.

  23. LOL at all the TDS snowflakes here today. I love the cahones of this move. Oh yeah, two can play this game and it’s hilarious to hear the left squealing like stuck pigs. NYS brought this all on themselves. Yeah, let’s give drivers licenses to all illegals. What could possibly go wrong with that? I only wish DHS would have pulled PreCheck as well. As the Kenyan once said, “elections have consequences”.

  24. Gary, you forget that s license to drive isn’t even a requirement. Millions of New Yorkers don’t drive but have other forms of id, all of which are valid to be used during the application process.

    If it wasn’t political, they’d remove only the license as an acceptable form of id. Same way puerto Rico birth certificates before 2010 are no longer accepted.

  25. Stupid policy for the simple reason that drivers licenses themselves are not even required in order to get GE. You can still apply without one, and even without a state ID.

  26. He may say he is or will be a Florida resident but based on current facts New York state tax authorities are likely to disagree.

    I assume NYS tax law would put him in the District for tax purposes. Also, not only NYS law but also NYC law is involved here since we have a hefty local income tax as well.

    ‘being independent’ and ‘taking stands’ is unquestionably ‘bad for business’ not good

    I’ve always assumed that threads with large numbers of comments — even negative ones — have a positive impact on those metrics which help with blog monetization. Is that not correct?

  27. Have fun for now, Republicans. When blue states are back in power, we’re going to hurt you. On the West Coast, the southern US is a bigger threat to us than China. You take tax subsidies and wreck our economy in exchange. Either you cut us loose from the United States, or we’ll drive you out. I want no part of being in the same country with you.

  28. @LarryInNYC – here’s my take, and why i think the ‘controversy’ i invite by taking positions does far more to hurt me financially than it does to help me: comments don’t do much for monetization, comments also don’t really track with traffic to a post or the blog, and the positions I take frequently turn off readers into leaving the blog (and I constantly get comments about how readers won’t use my affiliate links because of their disagreements with me). the most successful sites in the space studiously avoid taking positions to avoid turning off readers.

  29. The absurdity of continuing to process PreCheck while nixing Global Entry/Nexus is illogical. Drivers licenses have little or nothing to do with Global Entry/Nexus as these are tied to one’s passport and fingerprints (and recently facial recognition). If one has a valid passport from an eligible country, then one’s identity is confirmed. With a fingerprint check, any criminal or other illegal status may be confirmed. So why a drivers license? Many residents of NYC don’t even have drivers licenses since they rely on public transit or Uber/Lyft/taxis.

    As you note, this is purely political harassment and retribution, nothing related to security. Let’s just wait until Donald Jr, Eric et al can’t renew their Global Entry and we’ll see how quickly this gets withdrawn.

  30. Politically motivated only and a cheap shot across the bow of a state Trump hates. This is getting nasty and you wonder why many say we are already in the midst of a civil war.

  31. @Gary. According to your reporting, since New York State is refusing to share certain information with Immigration, the Trump Administration as announced a policy of omitting New York State residents from obtaining or renewing certain federal programs such as global entry. [Please correct me if I misrepresented what your wrote. I do not want to be accused of trying to set up a straw dog reasoning.]

    You gave 5 numbered inconsistencies to that announcements and a snark about building the wall on the Southern Border However, why don’t you go in the front door and argue directly why you think the Trump Administration’s attempt to defend the Federal Immigration system is wrong?

    BTW. The Mexicans are actually paying for security on the USA Southern Border. To avoid threatened tariffs, the Mexican government sent police to the Southern Border and have been preventing some caravans from flowing from Central America to the USA Southern Border. The Mexican government has also been paying for the stay in Mexico policy. Maybe you missed it since you read Huffpost and Politico.

  32. Illegal immigration is an existential threat to many Americans. As a New York Resident whose Global Entry expires in 2 years I don’t care about these restrictions if they last for 10. Whatever it takes to stop state governments from aiding and abetting illegal immigration I’m for. Stopping Illegal immigration is a lot more important than global entry.

  33. @Gary First off thank you for covering this. Second, as someone in New York I would like to make a few points about how the administration is deliberately lying and what their true goal seems to be. First, you do not need to have a driver’s license to apply for global entry. It is one type of document that can be used for verification purposes. Second, the nonsense about needing DMV records for checks about crimes. Global entry runs your rap sheets based on fingerprints. They don’t need that information from DMV, because its readily available on people’s rapsheets which are linked to their fingerprints. Maybe the thing with the used cars could be relevant but I’m skeptical. Still even if that is the case they could simply close off that portion of the program until a workaround can be figured out, instead of banning everyone in new york from the entire program.

    What I believe is really going on here. Based upon the government’s continued mention of ICE in their official statement it seems clear what they want. When NY started issuing licenses to undocumented people (not a program I support but its relevant to what is going on), those undocumented people gave to NY DMV their names and addresses. It is clear what the administration wants is for NY DMV to turn those names and addresses over so they can go to the homes of undocumented people and arrest them. Customs and Border Protection handle the global entry program. Not ICE yet ICE is talked about prominently in the statement from the federal government. This has been an ongoing problem with the federal government trying to use whatever tactics they can to go after undocumented people, including but not limited to showing up to court dates and grabbing people as they attempted to make a court appearance, trying to grab kids out of their schools, earlier today ICE shot somebody in their home, to ICE demanding that anybody who is arrested (even though they are not convicted of anything), being held on in custody at the expense of the New York tax payer without their even bothering to get a lawful court order. None of this has anything to do with global entry and its shameful that the Trump administration is deliberately lying to people about their true motives and punishing all New Yorkers for political decisions made by certain politicians.

  34. @Nun I read that statement and its full of misleading and false information. No surprise coming from this administration.

  35. @Joe Mao I don’t like political posts in general, but THIS is directly connected to travel and totally appropriate for Gary to cover.

  36. I live in New York City and my global entry expires this year. What can I do to work around this problem? I don’t want to move to other states.

  37. This is analogous with how sanctions are intended to work. Punish the citizenry to change the laws, and if not the laws then their politicians.

    Promote Suffering, Promote Change

  38. @Bill. Are you making the AOC kids in cages, ICE agents are Nazis argument? Just asking.

  39. This is the garbage type of post OMAAT puts out there to make more money. Rile people up to comment.

    @Gary – You aren’t a tax accountant. Don’t try to be be one. NYS can argue 2019 residency but they won’t have a leg to stand on if he’s only in NY a few days in 2020.

  40. Well the right wing a$shat defenders out in full force. Good for you – you need something to do during the day than real work.

    So why was this announced on a TV show vs policy notice to CBP first. You side with a man who is petty, childish and thoroughly ignorant of what is right or wrong. His politics are his politics and he can have at it. If anything you are schooling the Dems on how to do the same to Red states in the future. This childish attitude by this administration will yield to all y’all in the next non Republican administration to vent about “HOW DARE THEY” – will THEY CAN DAMN WELL DARE TO DO IT when you see precedence being set and many here are having a circle jerk to it.

    Oh yeah – before you call me a crying Liberal. 25+ years supporting the Republican Party and they lost me in 2016 and won’t see me again as long as jerks like some of you here still think they are a great party. Racism, Misogyny, Childish Tantrums, The Parade of Lies every day, Science Denial, etc, etc. This is not what the GOP was – a party aiming for BOOMERS who are mainly male and white. Good for you – have at it, the party dies over the next 10+ years as all of you angry folks die out . Suggest you speak to younger voters – you know the ones you insult and degrade and see how much they can’t stand the GOP – they have no love for the Democrats but a special bit of disgust for the GOP.

  41. Kudos to our president for continuing to attack the problem of illegals in our country and these sanctuary cities, counties, and states that support & promote illegal aliens to come here with open arms

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