Trump's decision to exclude New York from trusted traveler program driven by ‘brazen’ thirst for ‘political retaliation’: WaPo editorial

Trump's decision to exclude New York from trusted traveler program driven by ‘brazen’ thirst for ‘political retaliation’: WaPo editorial
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Back in February, New York was removed from the federal government’s trusted traveler program. But on Thursday, July 23, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security moved to reinstate New York’s access to the program. And in a scathing editorial published on July 27, the Washington Post’s editorial board slams the Trump Administration for removing New York from the program — denouncing it as one of the Administration’s “most brazen recent acts of political retaliation.”

The Post states, “The New York Times reported the government admitted in court papers filed Thursday that Homeland Security officials had made false statements about their February decision to cut off New Yorkers from the trusted traveler program, which allows prescreened Americans expedited passage through border checks when reentering the United States from abroad.”

Trump’s allies, according to the Post’s editorial board, had one thing in mind when New York was cut off from the trusted traveler program: political revenge.

“The Trump Administration had justified the cutoff by pointing to New York’s new policy of refusing to disclose driver’s license information to federal immigration authorities absent a court order,” the Post’s editorial board notes. “The Administration claimed that the state’s policy was unusual and that federal officials, therefore, could not trust the state to cooperate in the background checks needed to screen New Yorkers for the trusted traveler program. In fact, government lawyers admitted Thursday, several other states and D.C. have similar policies — which are designed to shield undocumented immigrants who obtained driver’s licenses rather than encouraging them to drive illegally. But those states’ residents were not denied access to the trusted traveler program, showing that national security was not the underlying issue.”

The Post concludes its editorial by stressing that federal policy decisions should be based on the good of the country — not partisan politics.

“Once again, the Trump Administration appears to have been caught abusing its powers to further political or personal grudges,” the Post argues. “It is scary to imagine how much more of the same would occur if the president got another four years with his hands on the levers of government.”

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