A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Department of Homeland Security to file a comprehensive record of all “inaccurate” or “misleading” statements made to the court as a part of a lawsuit over a ban on Trusted Traveler Programs, including Global Entry.
The order comes after DHS admitted last week that it made false statements to defend a decision to block New York residents from participating in the programs, which help speed travelers through lines when they arrive in the US.
District Judge Jesse Furman wrote that the revelation – which came in a letter from the acting US attorney – of inaccurate statements made in the case was “deeply troubling.”
Furman said the government didn’t even “purport to provide” an full list of false statements, ordering additional documentation.
The admission of false statements came on the same day the department announced it will allow state residents to participate in the program again. DHS blocked New Yorkers from the program over provisions in a state law protecting the information of undocumented immigrants applying for driver’s licenses, arguing New York was unique in blocking access.
However, several other states, whose residents are able to participate in the Trusted Traveler Programs do not currently provide federal authorities with full access to applicants’ records, last week’s court filing noted.
The federal government’s move in February to ban New Yorkers from the programs came at a time when President Donald Trump was railing against efforts by Democratic officials to limit cooperation between local and state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.
Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo excoriated the top two DHS officials, saying that both acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and his acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, violated their oaths of office by participating in the effort, arguing the top officials have “possible criminal liability.”
“It was all politics, all the time. It was all exploitation, all the time. And they hurt this state because of it,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “You cannot use government for political exploitation.”
Two key Democratic lawmakers announced last week, they were opening a congressional investigation into the matter. “It appears DHS officials made false statements to Congress – an intolerable turn of events for a Department charged with enforcing Federal law,” said Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Kathleen Rice of New York in a statement.
The government has until August 12 to file the complete list of all “inaccurate or misleading statements or representations,” as well as detailed explanation about who made the statements and how the department discovered they were inaccurate.
Furman’s order is part of a “limited inquiry” into the revelations that the government made false statements in the case. It will be used to determine if further review by the court is needed.
CNN’s Devin Cole and Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this story.