NEW YORK — A federal judge rebuked the Department of Homeland Security for making statements it has admitted were false in seeking to ban New York state from travel programs.
The Trump administration expelled New York from Global Entry and other expedited border crossing programs earlier this year over the state’s law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.
But last week, the feds backed down and allowed New York back into the program. DHS officials admitted in court papers they had made false statements in an effort to push the ban, which New York was suing to overturn.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman called the admissions “deeply troubling revelations.”
The Trump administration had said that New York placed restrictions unlike any other state on the access immigration authorities have to Department of Motor Vehicles records. In fact, they later acknowledged, several other states have the same restrictions but have never faced attempts to block them from travel programs.
Furman noted the court “has the power to conduct an independent investigation in order to determine whether it has been the victim of fraud.”
He said last week’s filings by DHS and the Department of Justice do not, “as they suggest, fully ‘correct the record,’ as it conspicuously proffers only a few examples of inaccurate and misleading statements and does not even purport to provide an exhaustive list.”
The judge demanded that the federal government submit “a comprehensive record of any and all ‘inaccurate’ or ‘misleading’ statements in their prior submissions” by Aug. 12.
The report must detail all inaccurate statements, identify who made the statement and who was responsible for its content, summarize what due diligence government attorneys did to verify the statements’ accuracy before submitting them to the court, and explain how officials learned about the falsehoods.
“The person or persons responsible for the content of the report should be prepared to testify about how it was compiled in the event the Court determines that is appropriate,” Furman wrote.
Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.