New York officials on Friday announced plans to file a legal challenge to the federal government's decision to block New Yorkers from registering for "trusted traveler" programs.
The Trump administration on Wednesday evening announced New Yorkers would be frozen out of programs like NEXUS, Global Entry and FAST hat provide ease of passage through customs and other points of passage for pre-approved travelers.
At issue is New York's new law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and a provision that bars federal immigration enforcement from obtaining DMV records without a court order.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again called the move a retaliatory one against New York by President Trump.
"Time and time again President Trump and his Washington enablers have gone out of their way to hurt New York and other blue states whenever they can as punishment for refusing to fall in line with their dangerous and divisive agenda," Cuomo said. "The Department of Homeland Security's decision to ban New Yorkers from the Trusted Traveler Program is yet another example of this administration's disrespect of the rule of law, hyper-partisan politics and use of extortion. There is no rational basis for this politically motivated ban, and we are taking legal action to stop the federal government from inconveniencing New Yorkers to score political points."
Attorney General Letitia James in a statement agreed, calling it "political retribution."
"We plan to take legal action and sue the Trump Administration for its unfair targeting of New York State residents," James said. "This new policy will negatively impact travelers, workers, commerce, and our economy, so we will fight the president's shortsighted crusade against his former home. We will not allow New Yorkers to be targeted or bullied by an authoritarian thug."
Republican state lawmakers, meanwhile, had just as direct a statement: We told you so.
"In the meantime New York businesses will suffer financial loss, particularly in Western New York, so that Democrats can create policies to put criminals first," said Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan. "DHS cannot be expected to do its job without access to the tools they need."