New York state is suing the Trump administration over its decision to bar hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from a federal program that expedites travelers across the border and through airport security checks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the suit Monday, saying that keeping New Yorkers out of the federal Trusted Traveler Program is unconstitutional. The lawsuit alleges the policy violates the sovereign rights of states and the prohibition against coercive action by federal authorities.
"We will not compromise our values nor back down when the federal government continues to unfairly and illegally target New York," Cuomo said. He pointed out that more than a dozen so-called red states — states where polls show President Donald Trump is popular — have similar laws, but that the administration is targeting New York.
"Make no mistake. We are fighting back and will be using every tool available to us to do so," Cuomo said.
The Trusted Traveler Program allows participants to cross over bridges and through checkpoints from Canada and Mexico by registering in automated systems.
Airport travelers are also permitted to go through security lines quicker.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection agency last week said hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers would be stopped from re-enrolling when their current accounts expire, and pending applications would be thrown out.
New York's Green Light Law
New York says the decision was retaliation for the state's new Green Light Law, which allows illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses, and limits federal officials from accessing drivers' records from the state.
The state's lawsuit says banning drivers and flyers from the Trusted Traveler Program would damage the New York economy by forcing more workers to wait at the border, putting global businesses that depend on cross-border traffic at a disadvantage.
The suit also alleges the safety of all travelers will suffer because of border congestion.
Trump has made battling illegal immigration a policy centerpiece. He is upset over New York and other states and cities declaring themselves sanctuaries where illegal migrants are safe from federal law enforcement.