New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in federal court (State of New York v. Wolf et al, 1:20-cv-01127) over its new policy prohibiting New Yorkers from registering or re-registering for various Trusted Traveler Programs.

New York residents were singled out by the Trump Administration in response to New York’s Green Light Law.  That law, which went into effect in December 2019, gave undocumented residents the right to apply for drivers’ licenses.  It also prevented the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from releasing their database information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) unless the agencies presented a court order.  Thirteen states have passed similar laws but so far only New York has been targeted for punishment.

The Trusted Traveler Programs include Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS and FAST (Free and Secure Trade).  The first three are programs that allow registered individuals who have been pre-vetted to return to and enter the United States more efficiently.  FAST provides expedited entry for low-risk commercial carriers.  Ken Cuccinelli of both USCIS and DHS expects that this ban will ultimately affect more than 200,000 New Yorkers.  Attorney General James stated the new policy “will negatively impact travelers, workers, commerce, and our economy . . .”

The Administration contends that the Green Light law makes it impossible for DHS to review information necessary to approve individuals for Trusted Traveler Programs.  Others, such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, question that explanation. Indeed, Governor Cuomo said that there is “no rational basis for this ban.” “Time and time again,” he said, “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.”

New Yorkers with currently valid Trusted Traveler status will be able to continue to use that status, but once expired, will not be able to renew.  As of this date, registration in TSA Pre-Check is not affected.

 

 

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.