Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to New York State’s “Green Light Law”, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced their decision to suspend enrollment in Global Entry and other trusted-traveler programs for New York State residents. The “Green Light Law”, which took effect in December 2019, allows issuance of a driver’s license to illegal immigrants. In making their decision, DHS cited that the state’s sanctuary policies that safeguard immigrants from deportation. DHS will immediately stop accepting new applications from New York State residents to enroll or re-enroll in some of the agency’s travel programs, including Global Entry. New York is the only state to be impacted by DHS’s decision thus far.

“After repeatedly ignoring law enforcement experts at the federal and local level, Governor Cuomo’s prioritization of illegal immigrants over law abiding New Yorkers is continuing to have damaging effects,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The Governor’s reckless Green Light Law not only has hampered efforts to enforce federal immigration laws, it is continuing to have harmful implications for our state. In December of last year, I warned Governor Cuomo that this irresponsible policy would inhibit our CBP officers at the Northern Border from doing their jobs. Qualified, legal citizens should not be penalized by the Governor’s unconscionable actions, which not only hinder our border patrol, law enforcement, and other agencies from being able to effectively do their job, but now also prevent our residents from receiving access to important travel programs.”

“This announcement from DHS is just the latest example of how Governor Cuomo and the State Senate Democratic Majority’s Green Light Law and criminal-coddling policies continue to compromise public safety and hurt New York State,” said State Senator Daphne Jordan. “In leading the fight against the Green Light Law in the State Senate, I warned last year of the untold consequences of this bad law and its negative impact on public safety. It is sad and shameful that Governor Cuomo and Senate Democrats put politics and illegal immigrants ahead of sound public policy and law-abiding New Yorkers. I am truly thankful for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s continued, powerful advocacy and national leadership in opposing the Green Light Law and standing strong for homeland security and the rule of law.”

“When the ‘Green Light Law’ was debated on the Assembly floor last year, I raised serious concerns about the far-reaching impact this policy could have.  It’s hamstringing law enforcement and Border Agents from effectively executing their jobs and now after the news that DHS has cut off New Yorkers from enrolling in trusted traveler programs, this reinforces the fact that this law is just plain wrong, period,” said State Assemblyman Mark Walczyk. “New Yorkers shouldn’t have the pay the price for this misguided policy that puts the rights of undocumented immigrants before the rights of legal, law abiding citizens.    I’m proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Stefanik on this issue.” 

“The Green Light law that Assembly and Senate Democrats rammed through last year as part of their pro-illegal immigrant/anti-law and order agenda is another example of how their insistence on ignoring our law enforcement professionals and sanctuary policies are hurting law abiding New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman Dan Stec. “I voted against this poor policy and will continue to fight this sort of outrageous legislation.”

“Our governor needs to start putting the residents of New York state first. I’m tired of hearing time and time again that illegal immigrants are receiving priority over our own citizens,” said Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush. “It’s outrageous that the Green Light Law will now be punishing our legal residents.”

“I voted against the Green-Light Law because it rewards people who have broken the laws of our country and incentivizes them to come to New York state,” said Assemblyman Robert Smullen. “Now we are also seeing that law-abiding New Yorkers will have their travel impacted as the Department of Homeland Security has no choice but to prohibit New York residents’ enrollment in Trusted Traveler Programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST, which are utilized to expedite international travel. I hope this will serve as a wake-up call to leaders in Albany that we cannot prioritize our political agendas ahead of our national security.”