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DHS Lifts Trusted Traveler Program Ban After NY Amends ‘Dangerous’ ‘Green Light Law’

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global entry suspended new York state

New York’s ‘Green Light Law’ was amended recently to allow federal law enforcement access to the State’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says is vital to protecting American national security, according to a Thursday press release. Moreover, access to the records helps DHS agencies to thwart potential terrorist and criminal activity, according to the Department.

“We appreciate the information sharing to CBP for the trusted travel program, which enables DHS to move forward and begin once again processing New York residents under the Trusted Travel Program.  Nonetheless, local New York law continues to maintain provisions that undermine the security of the American people and purport to criminalize information sharing between law enforcement entities,” Acting Secretary Wolf said in a statement Thursday.

“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.  When jurisdictions like New York fail to cooperate with federal authorities, they operate more like refuges from criminal behavior, not sanctuary havens.”

With the change, federal law enforcement will be able to access DMV records “as necessary for an individual seeking acceptance into a trusted traveler program, or to facilitate vehicle imports and/or exports.” However, there are still more steps DHS says need to be taken in order to ensure the safety of New Yorkers and the American people as a whole.

According to the press release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are still blocked from receiving some information from law enforcement and could face felony charges for breaking that order. DHS is consulting the Department of Justice (DOJ) “to determine appropriate legal actions to address these problems.”

In February, CBP blocked New York residents from applying for any Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP). That was because of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to enact “Green Light Laws,” meaning many criminals could go under the radar of federal law enforcement and/or seek sanctuary in New York to do so because information on such individuals would be blocked from federal law enforcement officials.

As a result, CBP took action by barring New Yorkers from applying for or renewing Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST. That all changed Thursday, however, according to DHS.

“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 a letter to top New York state officials on February 5. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”

Wolf added that the law  “compromises CBP’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying for TTP membership meets program eligibility requirements,” and will “delay[] a used vehicle owner’s ability to obtain CBP authorization for exporting their vehicle.”

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Immigration

Report: Deportations Dropped By 90% Under President Biden

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Deportation

Deportations of illegal immigrants have dropped by 90% under President Biden, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.

“Immigration enforcement, as measured by the number of aliens removed from the country, has collapsed to the lowest level since the mid-1990s, according to ICE deportation records the Center has obtained. Under policies imposed by the Biden administration, removals dropped by 80 percent since last year’s low point during the pandemic lockdown, and by 90 percent since 2019, the last normal year for ICE operations,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said in the report.

The report explained that, “Under Biden Policies, ICE Removals Have Plummeted to a Fraction of Normal Levels. On his first day of office (January 20, 2021), President Biden issued a directive halting virtually all deportations for 100 days and greatly restricting immigration enforcement activity. Following a lawsuit by Texas asserting grave fiscal and public safety harm to its citizens from a near-suspension of federal immigration enforcement, within two weeks federal judge Drew Tipton halted the deportation freeze and later enjoined it indefinitely pending further legal action.”

“The restrictions on other enforcement actions have remained in place with some minor modifications, meaning that, in effect, ICE has been limited to removing known or suspected terrorists, aliens convicted of very serious crimes (mostly those defined as ‘aggravated felons’), and recent illegal arrivals,” the report added.

“The number of aliens removed who had serious criminal convictions also has declined by over 50 percent from 2020 and by 65 percent since 2019,” the report observed.
The Biden administration’s restrictions on ICE have resulted in the highest levels of illegal immigration on record as the agency has been “functionally abolished.”

The Washington Post reported, “ICE under President Biden is an agency on probation. The new administration has rejected calls from some Democrats to eliminate the agency entirely, but Biden has placed ICE deportation officers on a leash so tight that some say their work is being functionally abolished.”

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