DHS explains how new Trusted Traveler policy in New York could impact sanctuary cities

DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli discusses sanctuary cities with Gray DC. (Source: Gray DC)
DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli discusses sanctuary cities with Gray DC. (Source: Gray DC)(GRAYDC)
Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 2:30 PM EST
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The Department of Homeland Security announced last week that they will change enrollment policy for Trusted Traveler Programs in New York City in response to the Green Light Law. Gray DC caught up with Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, who explained the policy change and how it could impact other sanctuary areas.

The Green Light Law allows undocumented individuals to apply for driver's licenses, but also prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with DHS. In response, DHS has halted the registration and renewal for enrollment in Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry for all New York residents. Cuccinelli said similar actions could be taken against other sanctuary states and cities that could pass similar laws.

"There are other entities around the country, states and localities, seeking to deny information to parts of the Department of Homeland Security," Cuccinelli said. "The message to them is we will consider removing these... discretionary programs that are for the convenience of their citizens."

He spoke specifically about Colorado, which is known as a sanctuary state, and the possibility of Colorado withholding information through their DMV.

"That's all critical to being able to do our job as law enforcement in Colorado, and frankly outside of Colorado when we need Colorado's information," Cuccinelli said.

Another topic discussed was how cities not necessarily categorized as sanctuary cities are allowed to operate alongside DHS and ICE. Gainesville, Florida, was a sanctuary city before Florida law banned it. The police departments within the county, however, are changing the way they cooperate with ICE and what information they allow to be shared.

"Every locality is different, we understand that," Cuccinelli said. "... we adjust to meet the needs of our partners. We appreciate the partnership."

Copyright 2020 Gray DC. All rights reserved.

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