New York's Green Light Law is recreating loopholes 'that allowed 9/11 to happen', says Ken Cuccinelli

New York's Green Light Law is recreating loopholes 'that allowed 9/11 to happen', says Ken Cuccinelli
Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli (Getty Images)

The blue state of New York has found itself at odds with the Donald Trump administration over granting driver’s license to undocumented migrants. On February 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told the state that it would no longer permit its residents to apply for its Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler programs, which in lieu of a one-time thorough background check, allows travelers to go through airport border and security checks for a period of five years.

The Trump administration decided on this as a measure of reprisal against the Empire State’s recent passage of the ‘Green Light Law’ that allows unregistered residents in the state to obtain the driving license. 

Under the law, there is also a provision that the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) doesn’t have to share any of the driver’s information with federal law-enforcement agencies and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unless told by a judge. The Trump administration, which wants to build borders to make America “safe”, is naturally upset with this. 

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told Fox News on Wednesday, February 5, that the law, which came into effect on December 19 last year, saw the Trump administration freezing access to federal travel programs. 

Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, speaks to the media during a press conference prior to Super Bowl LIV at the Hilton Miami Downtown on January 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Getty)

On Thursday, February 6, Wolf’s deputy Ken Cuccinelli seconded the former’s words. The deputy secretary of homeland security rang an alarm. According to him, New York was only reintroducing the problem that had caused 9/11 by granting driver’s licenses to undocumented migrants. 

Cuccinelli cites the example of Virginia

“It was embarrassing to us in Virginia, that the majority of 9/11 terrorists used Virginia driver's licenses to help accomplish their evil mission, and we set about to fix that. And we did fix that,” Cuccinelli, who took over last November, told reporters in a call where he defended the Trump administration’s move.

“Here we have one of the other targets of 9/11, who are walking backwards, quite intentionally, in the other direction to bar the sharing of law-enforcement-relevant information like vehicle registration, matching driver's licenses to identifications, and, critically, criminal records which are kept up to date, and DMV databases.” he added. 

He called it the “the main problem ... that allowed 9/11 to happen”. 

Seven of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 airborne attacks that killed thousands of people got Virginia identification cards to make checking in for the flights they hijacked easier and being used as missiles. 

Virginia later changed its laws to make it difficult to obtain identification cards or driver’s license. 

Wolf was quoted as saying by Daily Mail: “In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids.” 

Besides Global Entry, the Trusted Traveler Programs include NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST.

Trump slammed the so-called sanctuary cities in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 4, and singled out New York in particular.

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