Two dozen state lawmakers have signed a letter urging the Department of Homeland Security to no longer bar New Yorkers from applying or re-registering for trusted traveler status.
The letter, sent by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump are yet to resolve the issue, which affects programs that enable people who have passed a background check to have easier travel through ports of entry and across borders.
The Trump administration this month moved to freeze trusted traveler access in New York, pointing to the state Green Light Law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses and the provision the bars the DMV from sharing records with federal immigration officials.
The letter questions the motivation for the freeze, pointing to the records the federal government already has access to, and accuses the Trump administration of "political extortion."
At the same time, the lawmakers urged Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to not let the dispute affect other programs, like TSA PreCheck.
"As members of the New York State Legislature, we stand unified in opposition to this decision that is irrationally denying New Yorkers benefits to which other states have access and will only cause unnecessary travel delays for New Yorkers and visitors alike," the letter, released by Rozic's office, states. "We urge you to rescind the suspension that has been inspired by political motives and to take no further action against the current and future enrollment of TSA PreCheck, the remaining TTP benefit available to New Yorkers."
Cuomo last week offered Trump a compromise: The state would provide access to DMV records, but only of those who are applying for trusted traveler status.
New York Attorney General Letitia James last week also filed a lawsuit challenging the freeze.