The New York Civil Liberties Union challenged the Department of Homeland Security’s retaliatory decision to suspend enrollment and re-enrollment to the Global Entry program, affecting hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who will be shut out of the program.

On February 5, 2020, DHS announced the suspension of the program and sent a letter to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles citing the inability to freely access DMV databases as a barrier to evaluating Global Entry applicants. At the time of the decision, 80,000 New Yorkers had pending applications to Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry. By the end of 2020, about 175,000 people will be removed from these programs as their memberships expire.

Millions of New York residents are eligible to apply for Global Entry even if they do not drive or have never applied for a driver’s license. The lawsuit argues that the curtailing of DHS access to New York’s DMV records has little if any effect on the agency’s ability to assess Global Entry applicants.

Plaintiff John Harland Giammatteo wishes to enroll in Global Entry, while plaintiffs R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy and Jamil Dakwar had pending applications for enrollment in the program at the time of the decision from DHS. The three plaintiffs brought the lawsuit to relieve New Yorkers from this onerous, arbitrary decision.


Christopher Dunn, Molly Biklen, Antony Gemmell

Date filed

February 10, 2020


United States District Court Southern District of New York