Modified: February 6, 2020 1:55pm
Legislators Lorigo, Mills, Rath, and Todaro have introduced a resolution in response to the federal government suspending trusted traveler enrollment programs due to safety concerns under the Green Light law. Trusted traveler programs are risk-based programs to facilitate the entry of pre-approved travelers.
Under the Green Light law, which grants drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, federal law enforcement agencies can no longer access DMV records. This has led to national security concerns and the federal government’s decision to bar New York residents from enrolling in programs such as NEXUS, Global Entry, and FAST. Current members of the programs will not be able to renew their memberships upon expiration and no new applicants will be accepted.
The resolution also highlights potential economic consequences, as Canada is New York State’s top export. According to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, New York exports $19 billion in goods and services to Canada, with trade between NY and Canada valued at $30 billion. In 2018, nearly 12 million cars and trucks crossed the US/Canadian border in WNY.
Legislator Mills said, “As a business owner who relies on the trucking industry, this is going to hurt cross-border traffic and trade with Canada. Additionally, because of the law’s threat to national security, New York residents are also suffering the consequences. It is unacceptable, and we are sending a message to Albany lawmakers that we are tired of their flawed policies.”
Legislator Lorigo said, “My colleagues and I recognized there were problems with the Green Light law from day one. When will the governor and other state leaders realize their poorly thought out, knee-jerk reaction policies have negative long-term consequences? In addition to punishing many New York residents, this decision will have a negative impact on our local economy. State leaders must act quickly to fix this mess.”
Legislator Rath said, “The Green Light Law is having unfair consequences on New York residents. Our leaders in Albany should be ashamed, and they must immediately address this issue before it’s too late.”
Legislator Todaro said, “New York State and Governor Cuomo took away the tools the Department of Homeland Security uses to protect our national security on the US/Canadian border. Our federal government had no choice but to act. It is unacceptable that our governor continues to prioritize the rights of undocumented immigrants over law-abiding citizens. This most recent decision is one more reason why Albany must repeal the Green Light law.”
The resolution will be introduced for Thursday’s session at the Legislature, beginning at 2pm, Thursday, February 6.