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New York suing federal government over trusted traveler program ban

Patrick Moussignac
Created: February 10, 2020 06:36 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration calling for the federal government to lift its ban on New Yorkers from participating in the Trusted Traveler program.

The ban will soon impact thousands of companies that conduct daily business across the Canadian border. 

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For example, New York-based truckers, who are already Trusted Travelers will be held up a lot longer at the border once their cards expire. It could mean a huge impact on their bottom line. 

"The President's crusade against New York is not only an inconvenience to New Yorkers, but also poses a direct threat to one of the world's largest economies and the nation's third-largest economy." New York Attorney General Letitia James said, taking aim at the Trump Administration's new Trusted Traveler policy.

Over the weekend, Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce sent out a Tweet that said in part, the new policies put upstate businesses in a competitive disadvantage. 

"The thing that we're most concerned with are our members here in this region, and really the upstate business community having full access to our trading partners in Canada," Duffy’s tweet said.

Thousands of vehicles cross each International Point of Entry every hour. Homeland Security called for access to the state's database as a means to track criminal activity, a tactic that U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called unnecessary.

"If someone has a felony conviction you can check it through their criminal conviction record," Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand says she supports business owners fighting back against the new policies. "I hope we have a class action as well by every CEO in our state who's employees, workers, who's business will be deeply affected by this decision," Gillibrand said.

Bob Duffy is optimistic about this decision being reversed.

"I just think we need to fix it and let cooler heads prevail and get to the table, negotiate a resolution. I get the safety issues, there's no doubt," Duffy said. He went on to says, "I'll never debate those so let's fix the issues of safety and concern, and fix the commerce aspect as well."

So far the federal government says it has rejected 58,000 New York Trusted Traveler applications.


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