The nation has become quite familiar with conflicts between the Trump White House and various state officials. But somehow, nothing has reached the awesome level of the current war between Trump and New York.
In an edict of a month ago, Trump has declared that residents of New York State will no longer be permitted to enroll in the Global Entry program that permits Americans to speed their re-entry into America from a trip abroad.
Using Global Entry, residents of 49 other states will often saunter past immigration and customs officials, while New Yorkers stew and fidget in long lines.
And why is this?
It’s because New York State has passed legislation that permits undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses. Repeal that law, says the president, and you New Yorkers will be treated like everyone else.
There are, of course, justifications asserted by the Trump-appointed officials in the Department of Homeland Security. We need to identify and thwart criminals who might obtain a drivers’ license, they say. National security is at stake. We need access to all your drivers’ information.
The FBI is already able to obtain that information, respond New York State officials. You are doing this simply to punish a New York whose immigration policies are unlike yours.
Opposing this claim to inflict punishment on the residents of a state, the judicial officials of New York State have brought a lawsuit to prevent the Trumpian action.
But since some 50 Trump appointees now inhabit the federal courts of America as judges, it is surely iffy as to whether New York will prevail.
Can the president, like a Roman Caesar, inflict such punishment on citizens on his own?
And will your state—you non-New Yorkers—be the next for such punishment?