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Tuesday night, Donald Trump gave his torchlit State of the Union address in which he warned that scary sanctuary cities are stockpiling criminal illegals to come rape and kill you all. Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security sent a nastygram to New York state officials, informing them that effective immediately, no New York residents would be able to use most of DHS's popular programs that let travelers get through airports more easily. Because national security, you see, and also good old revenge against any state that doesn't buy into Trump's Deport Everyone agenda. The letter, first reported by Fox News, insists that since the state won't let DHS paw through driver's-license databases in search of undocumented immigrants, then it's just not safe to let anyone from New York use the expedited-travel programs. You know how it is, with those MS-13 guys putting their machetes in their checked baggage and then flying executive class to do crimes.


While the timing of the new policy and Trump's latest bloody shirt attack on immigrants may be coincidental -- chaos and weaponized incompetence being key strategies -- the policy itself is the sort of evil manipulation of everyday government operations that reeks of Stephen Miller's nasty little mind. New York pissed off all the anti-immigration howler monkeys last year by allowing undocumented people to get licenses; the law also shields driver's license records from DHS snooping without a court warrant.

New York said that, just as "sanctuary" laws encourage migrants to report crimes and be witnesses without fear, the so-called "Green Light" law would make the roads safer by allowing people who would be driving anyway to do so legally. But the Excitable Boys in rightwing media howled it would surely lead to illegals VOTING, like even more than how four-fifths of all votes in America are already cast by illegals who just vote 40 times under different names. (Do we need to say that's bullshit? It's bullshit.)

Politico 'splains which programs for airborne elitists will be affected:

New York residents will be prohibited from enrolling in DHS programs including Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST. The letter does not refer to TSA's PreCheck program.

The first three are CBP programs which help expedite security for travelers upon arrival to the U.S., and FAST is a commercial clearance program for low-risk shipments.

In the letter, (acting) Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claims New York's failure to let ICE go rummaging through the state's data "compromises CBP's ability to confirm whether an individual applying for [trusted traveler] membership meets program eligibility requirements," because apparently there's simply no way to verify the identity of anyone. Somebody should alert the State Department, which somehow manages to process passports without also going on warrantless fishing expeditions through state ID data.

The letter even claims that by making DHS get a warrant, New York's law will hinder the fight against child traffickers. WHY U PROTECTING CHILD TRAFFICKERS, NEW YORK?

Here's the whole disingenuous mess:

If DHS's primary concern really is protecting New York from "menacing threats to national security and public safety" and the agency needs state-collected data to do it, it could act like grownup law enforcement agencies and get a fucking warrant.

Still, as with other Stephen Miller Joints, we do have to at least acknowledge the low cunning of it all. Remember how last year's government shutdown really started falling apart when TSA lines backed up, air traffic controllers got the blue flu, and Important Business Travelers couldn't fly off to do their Important Business?

Miller and company appear to be betting they can enlist pissed-off travelers to pressure the state to reverse its policy. Why do I have to wait in line because some illegal is being protected by -- as Trump put it in his pep rally -- the "radical politicians" who "have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens"? People who may not care one way or the other about immigration may get very het up indeed over being inconvenienced at the airport. The idea of using the business class to make war on undocumented migrants is so perfectly Trumpian.

Also too, New York Times reporter Zolan Kanno-Youngs passes on this comment from (acting) DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, who ought to win all kinds of support for invoking 9/11 for the sake of getting revenge on an uncooperative state:

Here we have one of the other targets of 9-11, New York, walking backwards quite intentionally in the other direction to bar the sharing of law enforcement relevant information.

Yup, Cooch is gonna be a popular guy in New York.

Of course, a fair number of the people inconvenienced may be far more angry at DHS for taking away their expedited travel than they are at the state of New York. We're also betting the corporations paying for a lot of that travel will take their gripes to the feds instead of the state, too, since "please deport people so we can travel more easily" would be bad publicity.

And nobody from the state Motor Vehicles department will be at the airport getting yelled at by pissed-off travelers who want to know why the fuck they have to wait in long lines.

[Politico / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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