WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Rochester Chamber of Commerce official reacts to suspension of Trusted Traveler programs

Feb 7, 2020
Originally published on February 6, 2020 4:45 pm

The Department of Homeland Security says New York residents will be cut off from 'trusted traveler' programs because of a state law that prevents immigration officials from accessing motor vehicle records.

DHS officials say the New York law endangers national security by preventing federal agents from getting access to motor vehicle and criminal records in the state.

New York officials said the decision was politically motivated.

The President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Bob Duffy, says he doesn’t want to wade into the political battle over this issue, but he hopes it gets resolved because it impacts a number of local companies who do business in Canada and other countries.

“I am interested in making sure our members and our region do not have their businesses and business lives impacted by this because I’m sure it will have. We have many companies here who have international customers, we have many of our closest members have a big part of their business overseas which means they travel quite a bit,” Duffy said.

Duffy says that Canada is the number one trading partner for Rochester area businesses so any slowdown in how they transact that business could hurt them.

“You have businesses, many who struggle to keep their heads above water, who need the lifeline between here and Canada for their economic success or here to Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia; they need that connectivity, they don’t want to be delayed unnecessarily,” Duffy said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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