The state of New York filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the Department of Homeland Security's decision to block New Yorkers from participating in "trusted traveler programs" in retribution for a new state law that could hinder federal immigration enforcement, Attorney General Letitia James said.
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"It's an abuse of power. It's extortion. It is hurting New Yorkers to advance their political agenda. And we're going to fight back," Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said at a Friday news conference in New York.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf responded to Cuomo's decision on "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo.
"This has nothing to do with the law that they passed regarding providing driver's licenses to illegal aliens," Wolf said. That's dangerous, but that's separate from what we did this week. New York is the only state — that bears repeating, the only state — that restricts [Customs and Border Protection] access to their DMV data across the board, not only for immigration purposes, but for law enforcement purposes."
DHS' decision is a response to a law, which took effect in December, allowing any person over the age of 16 to apply for a driver’s license regardless of U.S. citizenship status. Part of that law also prohibited the state's Department of Motor Vehicles from giving records to federal immigration agents.
On Thursday, DHS retaliated, saying it would no longer allow New Yorkers to enroll, or renew their membership in, certain federal programs that make it easier for people traveling internationally to get through border security, including Global Entry.
"If New York wants to restore this access, then we're happy to continue to process these applications," Wolf said on Sunday.
"My job is to make sure that this program maintains its integrity so that individuals in New York are processed and evaluated the same as individuals in Michigan, Minnesota or California, and right now, because New York took this action, the department had to respond," he said.
FOX Business' Ann Schmidt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.