New Yorkers Are Eligible For Global Entry Again

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

In early February the Trump Administration announced that because of this law, New York residents would no longer be allowed to enroll in or renew Global Entry (along with NEXUS and SENTRI). They claimed they needed access to New York’s DMV database as part of their identity verification process.

It was a political stunt,

  • other states with similar laws weren’t similarly targeted
  • the policy change was announced on Fox News and officials charged with implementing it weren’t awaree
  • the federal government continued to verify identity for other programs without access to the New York DMV database

A lawsuit followed, but now it’s moot. DHS will again give New Yorkers access to Global Entry now that the state has amended its law to allow access to DMV records “for an individual seeking acceptance into a trusted traveler program, or tofacilitate vehicle imports and/or exports.”

New York, however, does not allow DMV information sharing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement for other purposes, and has criminal penalties for anyone sharing such information with these agencies except as expressly permitted. It’s not clear the extent to which those are enforceable.

Since the federal government flushed Global Entry applications from New Yorkers I imagine anyone who had a pending application when the ban was instituted will have to resubmit.

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, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. The DHS website for Global Entry is still not accepting applications from New York State residents (“Your state is not eligible to apply for a Trusted Traveler Program.”) as of right now (4:24pm on 7/23) so I’m guessing nobody told the IT folks.

  2. FYI I don’t think the website is updated yet. Trying to renew an application (NY resident), and it won’t accept my NY address. Says NY isn’t eligible.

  3. What a disgrace that New York shields criminals – which is what illegal immigrants are. If you want their status changed (and boy do the Democrats want their millions of new voters), go through Congress. No surprise it’s from NYC, though – a famous Chinese wu mao has that in paid handle, too.

    These sanctuary cities/states will lead to lawlessness. And don’t worry, the Republicans have understood the SOP for these things by now.

  4. Surprised DHS has the time and energy for this, since they have spent so much effort sending their unmarked, untrained goons in military tactical gear (in minivans) to Portland

    @William Y – enjoy being back out of power again in 100 days!

  5. And I wonder how long this is going to last for until it gets reversed. How could Trump and some Republican governors push for schools to reopen and now this? The Coronavirus is going to get more out of hand than what it is now.

  6. Now my wife can renew her GE. This makes her, and me happy. Now let’s see, where can we travel to?


  7. Sorry @William Y, but being an illegal immigrant is *not* a crime; nor is overstaying a visa. Both are civil violations, like speeding. The possible legal consequences of being an illegal immigrant include a fine, deportation, and difficulties getting a visa in the future; largely (I think) because of the threat of deportation for even a minor crime, illegal immigrants in fact commit crimes *less often* than US citizens. So if your goal is simply to reduce crime, remove the US citizens, not the illegal immigrants. (Improper entry is in fact a crime (a misdemeanor), but the majority of illegal immigrants did not commit that or any other crime, instead overstaying visas after entering legally.)

    And no one getting Global Entry is an illegal immigrant. Global Entry requires verifying a passport. Anyone with a US passport or valid visa is by definition not an illegal immigrant, and anyone without a US passport or valid visa (or right of visa-free travel) would not be granted Global Entry; it’s those federally-controlled documents, not state driver records, that are relevant for Global Entry applications. Therefore, one can legitimately argue about whether the Feds should have access to state driver records for combatting illegal immigration, but that has essentially nothing to do with Global Entry applications.

    Too bad New York State caved, although it seems like it’s pretty much irrelevant. As Gary said, the state driver database has little to do with processing Global Entry applications anyway, and the state didn’t give the Feds access for any other purpose.

  8. The DHS “leaders” who locked out NYers from applying for GE were doing Trump’s business then and still are now; and they have been showing that they are just petty little Napoleons whose vindictiveness knows few boundaries.

    It’s long overdue that Trump gets the boot along with his enablers and the jackbooted DOJ and DHS thugs who go beating up and otherwise violently intimidating lawful protesters across the country.

    Can’t wait to see DHS disassembled and its constituent parts go back to being divided across the pre-DHS-era cabinet portfolios. Maybe then we can also get TSA to scale down to being nothing more than a small group of regulators and pointy-hatred bureaucrats overseeing private airport screeners’ operations.

  9. How we can have any trust in elections or faith in government when states give drivers licenses to illegal aliens instead of arrest them. How can we trust the election when illegals are using stolen social security numbers to work and cost states 10K each year for each of their children for school, 10-15K in Medicaid benefits each year, and countless other benefits including college tuition and housing assistance. How can we trust elections when the children and grandchildren of illegals vote in them because government purposely failed to do its most basic job of defending borders and deporting illegal trespassers. The answer is we can’t.

  10. Children born in the US are natural-born citizens of the US regardless of the actions of their parents. The same as most of those Americans who have “illegal immigrants” as their perennial whipping boy.

    Children in school is better than children not in school, regardless of who their parents are.

    Voter fraud in the US is way less of an election fraud problem than the voter suppression fraud engaged in by those who have voter fraud as their perennial whipping boy. These “voter fraud” whiners in the US are part and parcel of a most deliberate effort in the election fraud of disenfranchising US citizens from the vote and the power of our vote and do so by using the pretense of law to: gerrymander; game polling station placement and related resource location; and pile on requirements and restrictions upon qualification for voting.

    There aren’t standing armies of illegal immigrants in the US willing to risk federal criminal prosecutorial attention over voting in an election for which they aren’t qualified to vote and whose results are more subject to hostile foreign state actor interference in our elections than to illegal immigrants voting illegally.

    Instead of beating the same old dead horse and then bringing back another horse to beat in the same way, go ride that next horse to the KKKlan rally in honor of Trump’s infamously racist, pro-KKK father.

  11. Look at these Communists literally arguing that an * illegal * immigrant isn’t committing a crime.

    Just brush it off. If they weren’t scared of Westerners, Western values, and prosperity, nobody would pay them to demean you. Follow your gut instinct: these aren’t normal people. Because … they aren’t.

  12. @Jackson Henderson You state things as facts that simply aren’t. Medicaid requires positive proof of US citizenship. It isn’t even available to permanent residents in their first 5 years of residency. In fact, very few of the “countless other benefits” available from the government are accessible without proof of citizenship or legal status — including college tuition and housing assistance. I understand there is a common caricature of hordes of illegal aliens bankrupting the government, but this is simply not factually accurate.

  13. William Y sees Communists even where they aren’t, but why hasn’t William blasted Trump for Trump’s admiration and affinity for Putin, a willful member and agent of the Communist Party’s security state apparatus in Russia who puts out bounties for killing of US military personnel and more? Can’t he see that Trump and his “leading” DHS buddies are bad actors who seem to want to play from the Putin playbook inside America? Pulling access to privileges and programs for the privileged was part and parcel of the ways of Communists in Russia as a way of punishing opposition and it Is the way of the Trump DHS too.

  14. @William Y – so says someone who is clearly a worshipper of the most *abnormal* (lying/cheating/crooked/racist/bullying/incompetent/fascist) POTUS in our country’s history

    @Jackson – you are literally verbalizing what Russia did in 2016 and is trying to do so again in 2020, sow disinformation and confusion…interesting motives on your part.

  15. This is about Global Entry, a federal program, and state driver licenses. Driver licenses are supposed to be about permission to drive; the requirement for getting a driver license should simply be demonstrating that you have met the legal requirements to drive and haven’t had your permission to drive revoked for drunk driving or whatever else. That is essentially what New York is doing in giving residents the option to separate the citizenship/immigration status verification process from the driver license process. They also offer Real ID-compliant and enhanced driver licenses, in which they do verify your citizenship status for the purpose of having one piece of plastic that serves both roles.

    Driver licenses have been turned into a de facto national ID, which I think is asinine, no matter what your opinion about immigration. If we want to turn the US into a nation where everyone must carry papers to document their citizenship or immigration status, fine, but do it; don’t go in the back door and require states to turn driver licenses into that national ID. (I suspect that most of the people who rail against illegal immigrants and erroneously call them criminals would be opposed to an actual national ID, but maybe I’m wrong there.)

    Qualification for Global Entry should not be related to state driver records, I don’t think.

Comments are closed.