ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the Department of Justice and Congress to launch investigations into the way the Trump administration banned New York residents from the trusted traveler program.
The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday withdrew the ban it had imposed in February.
The governor said the ban was politically motivated because 15 other states had similar laws to New York’s Green Light Law and were not banned,
The administration has said New York’s law was the reason for the ban.
The governor said it was a way to punish New York to gain political points.
“It was a clear abuse of government power for political purposes,” Cuomo said.
He said DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf and his acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, violated their oaths of office and could be criminally and civilly liable for their actions.
The governor said the ban created long lines at airports at the time COVID-19 is thought to be coming to New York in February and March.
The trusted traveler program streamlines the process for crossing borders and makes it easier for qualified people to get through U.S. Customs.
The governor said the state will look into seeking civil damages from the federal government.
“It has hurt New Yorkers, it’s hurt our economy,” he said. “It’s only one in a barrage of political abuses that we’ve endured.”