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Judge dismisses DHS over false statements in New York travel case







Ticket agents wear protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic while assisting travelers at LaGuardia Airport on 15 July |  Photo AP

Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

NEW YORK – A federal judge has reprimanded the Department of Homeland Security for making statements he admitted to being false in an attempt to ban New York state from travel programs.

The Trump administration fired New York from the Global Entry and other rapid border crossing programs earlier this year over state law that allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

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But last week, the feds supported and allowed New York back into the program. DHS officials admitted in court papers that they had made false statements in an effort to push the ban, which New York was suing for overturning.

On Wednesday, District Judge Jesse Furman called the admissions “deeply disturbing revelations.”

The Trump administration had said New York had placed restrictions unlike any other state on the immigration authorities ’access to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ records. In fact, they later acknowledged, many other states have the same restrictions but have never faced attempts to block them from travel programs.

Furman pointed out that the court “has the power to conduct an independent investigation to determine whether it has been the victim of fraud.”

He said last week’s submissions by DHS and the Justice Department did not, “as they suggest,” completely correct the record, “as is clearly seen in a few examples of inaccurate and misleading statements and not even intends to provide an exhaustive list. “

The judge asked the federal government to send a “comprehensive record of any” inaccurate “or” misleading “statements in their previous submissions” by Aug. 12.

The report shall detail all the exact statements, identify who made the statement and who was responsible for its content, summarize what the government’s due diligence lawyers have done to verify the accuracy of the statement. statements before submitting them to the court, and explains how officials learned about the forgeries.

“The person or persons responsible for the content of the report must be prepared to testify as to how it was compiled in the event that the Court determines it to be appropriate,” Furman wrote.

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.


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