By Ted Hesson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration has temporarily barred New Yorkers from several programs expediting security checks when they enter the United States, widening a dispute over a New York state law limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday that the action, which took effect on Wednesday, would bar both new passes and renewals and would not apply to Transportation Security Administration pre-checks.
Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told reporters the state’s lack of security cooperation with federal immigration authorities necessitated the suspension of such travel programs as Global Entry.
He assailed the state over a law passed last year limiting the information the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, which issues driver’s licenses, could share with federal immigration authorities.
U.S. President Donald Trump has made his immigration crackdown a focus of his 2020 re-election campaign. Trump criticized so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions during his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday night.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s senior adviser, Rich Azzopardi, said it was “obviously political retaliation” and that the governor’s office was studying its legal options.
Reporting by Ted Hesson; Editing by Howard Goller.