February 7, 2020 - Friday
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Illegal Masses
February 07, 2020
If there's any state that should've learned the importance of national security, it's New York. And yet, even after terrorists turned the Twin Towers into two gigantic craters, the state's liberals haven't learned those painful lessons. Instead of being more careful about who enters the country, they're throwing open the doors to criminals and illegals alike. And this president isn't about to stand by and watch.
After Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and the state's Democrats decided to let illegal immigrants loose on the state, offering them driver's licenses through the "Green Light Law," the administration was forced to make a statement of its own. After non-citizens rushed to the state's DMVs in droves, nabbing passports, licenses, and other official documents, acting Homeland Security Chad Wolf knew the situation was dangerous. Apart from giving harbor and cover to people who have no right to be in America, the new policy is a major compromise of U.S. security.
For starters, Secretary Wolf explained on "Washington Watch," it specifically restricts information-sharing with the government. If U.S. officials or law enforcement wanted to access New York's DMV database, they couldn't. That means, for instance, people at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who run a number of the country's trusted traveler programs wouldn't be able to cross-check any applications through the New York system. So, rather than put the entire Global Entry or other traveler program at risk because of this radical new law, the DHS suspended the program for New York residents entirely.
"We can't validate these individuals," Wolf explained. "And so unless we get access to this database, we cannot enroll or re-enroll new individuals into these programs. And that's what we informed them of [Wednesday]." And unlike other states, who have more lenient immigration laws, New York's is truly in a class all its own. "It's the only state in the union that restricts access to CBP," Chad pointed out. "Other states certainly do that from an ICE perspective. But in this case, we're not talking about ICE. ICE does not run our trusted traveler programs. CBP does. We would not have taken this action had the two decades of information-sharing and cooperation continued... Then we wouldn't be talking about this. But New York made a decision for whatever reason -- whether it was political or [otherwise] -- to not grant access [of their records] to law enforcement. And as a result, this is the consequence."
And that consequence is a big one for the 86,000 New Yorkers affected immediately (and as many as 800,000 over the next five years).
But the irony, at least for a lot of people, is that New York is the one doing this -- and it was the biggest target of 9/11. Coming out of that tragedy, one of the things the government wanted to be more intentional about was communication and information sharing between the different law enforcement and intelligence communities. "We should be tearing down information silos," Wolf insisted, "not trying to build them. And that's what's occurring here." Why would stand in the way of a government tracking down criminal organizations and people who pose a threat to America? "It's just unconscionable," he said.
Under this administration, the secretary points out, actions have consequences. "And if they're not going to change this, then unfortunately, the department has to take steps to mitigate the vulnerabilities. And that's what we're doing." Homeland Security is willing to work with New York. But whether liberal leaders are willing to give up this political stunt and cooperate is anyone's guess.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.