In its latest battle against New York, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) temporarily barred state residents from enrolling in the Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI programs, which allow expedited processing after international travel. The escalation of the Trump administration’s conflict with New York comes after the state passed the “Green Light Law,” which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. To protect immigrants, the law prevents agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from accessing the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) databases without a court order.
In a letter to the New York State government, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf wrote “this act and the corresponding lack of security cooperation from the New York DMV requires DHS to take immediate action to ensure DHS’s efforts to protect the homeland are not compromised.” While this isn’t the first time the Trump administration has gone after New York and its “sanctuary city” policies, it is the first time it has enacted policies against the state. Back in 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to revoke law enforcement funding from theNew York Police Department (NYPD) for not allowing ICE agents to detain undocumented immigrants in NYPD custody.
The Trump administration has taken a strictly anti-immigration stance, with a policy spearheaded by White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller. So much so, that even though President Donald Trump has been one of Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaidó’s most important international allies—with Trump inviting Guaidó to Tuesday’s State of the Union address and condemning President Nicolás Maduro as a tyrant—he has yet to grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans, although the move has amassed bipartisan support.
The administration’s immigration policy has come under fire in recent days as reports of murders and violence against asylum-seekers deported back to Central America have surfaced. According to Doctors Without Borders, 80 percent of asylum-seekers they treat that are sent back to Mexico report being victims of violence. And in a report released by Human Rights Watch this week, at least 200 Salvadoran migrants have been killed, raped or tortured after being deported back to El Salvador by the United States.