On February 5th, the Department of Homeland Security announced effective immediately that it would ban NY State residents for applying for Global Entry and other Trusted Traveller programs (SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST) due to New York’s status as a “safe haven” state. The Trump administration says it’s responding to New York’s Green Light Law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and bars agencies like ICE from accessing these DMV records without a court order. The Trump administration says it is freezing New Yorkers applications for Global Entry and renewal in efforts of national security, but many (myself included) are calling BS on this. Governor Cuomo is reviewing the legal status of this ban that essentially is politicizing travel.
As a frequent traveler, I revel in the ease of Global Entry saving, at this point, hours in security lines at the airports. To me, Trump is punishing a state politician he’s in a pissing contest with and a majority of voters he knows did not vote for him. For some time he has expressed ire towards safe-haven states, threatening to cut California’s federal funding for example. DHS Chad Wolf cites that the state of NY is asking the federal government to vet NY residents for these trusted traveler programs without all of the information, i.e. background checks, criminal histories etc. A fair assessment if that is the case. When I got Global Entry it was seemingly an easy screening but then again I don’t have criminal or dodgy history, I was born in NYC and I travel for work. At the time, not countries I visited were on the then president’s travel ban, or raised cause of alarm or concern.
Trump himself blasted the conditions of New York airports. A great deal of renovations have been made in recent years, but yes, I have been to developing nations with airports on par with JFK — the airport welcoming millions of people into the great country of America. Global Entry was just one less stress navigating this airport. I don’t want to give it up.
As of now, TSA Pre-Check isn’t effected. Currently Global Entry, SENTRI and NEXUS users are not affected but will be when it comes time for re-enrollment.