governor Andrew M. Cuomo today called on the U.S. Department of Justice and Congress to investigate the Department of Homeland Security’s handling of the Trusted Traveler Program, after new information revealed DHS officials admitted to making false statements to justify the Department’s banning of New Yorkers from the program earlier this year. Prior to this development, federal officials consistently and inaccurately insisted that New York’s limitations on access to the state Department of Motor Vehicles database were unlike any other state. The Governor also announced the State will pursue civil damages from the Department of Homeland Security.
“The ban on the Trusted Traveler Program hurt New Yorkers. It hurt our economy, and it was all politics, right from the beginning. You cannot use government for political exploitation,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s only one in a barrage of political abuses that we’ve endured by this administration, and it has to stop. I believe there are civil damages that New York State is owed and we’ll be pursuing possible claims for that. I am also calling on Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Nadler and Congressman Bennie Thompson to do a Congressional investigation on this. Government is not a political tool.”