< PrevNext > Letitia James, New York Atty. General Defender of Trust By Elizabeth West / December 10, 2020 / Contact Reporter Share In February, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security banned New York residents from using the majority of its trusted traveler programs—Global Entry, Sentri, Nexus and Fast—which allow members to use expedited security lanes at U.S. airports and expedited customs and border control lanes when crossing international borders. While the DHS move did not apply to current TTP members as of February, about 50,000 New York residents who were conditionally approved for the program, along with 30,000 who had applied and were pending initial vetting, immediately lost their applications (along with the associated fees to apply). In addition, about 150,000 to 200,000 New Yorkers had Global Entry memberships set to expire by the end of 2020 and would have been unable to renew.The agency cited the state's Driver's License Access and Privacy Act, which took effect December 2019, as necessitating its policy. The law allows all New Yorkers regardless of citizenship or lawful status to apply for a driver's license; it additionally prevents DHS and any agency that primarily enforces immigration from reviewing DMV data. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Letitia James, along with other officials, viewed the ban as politically motivated, citing more than a dozen states with similar laws that weren't singled out for removal from trusted traveler programs. James swiftly filed a lawsuit against DHS, alleging violations of New Yorkers' right to equal protection and equal state sovereignty under the U.S. Constitution. She lashed the Trump administration for politicizing the nation's security apparatus. In July, the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan noted in a court filing the prevalence of such laws and declined to defend the DHS position, stating the agencies "deeply regret the foregoing inaccurate or misleading statements" at the foundation of their argument. U.S. federal court vacated the policy in October, calling it "legally indefensible" but noting the agency would have been unlikely to acknowledge this had it not faced the "thorough, probing, in-depth review" brought by James' suit.