Caught in the Middle

Nexus renewal pulled with no explanation

Port of entry between U.S. and Canada

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - A Buffalo area resident, whose livelihood depends on the government's Trusted Traveler program, had his Nexus privileges pulled Monday.

"I've had Nexus and Trusted Traveler since 2004," said Mike, who wishes to remain anonymous to not draw attention to his company. 

He was in the process of renewing his Nexus which was set to expire this Summer.  The renewal process begins a year in advance.  He began that process last Fall.  "Everything was confirmed and paid for before the beginning of the year," he told us. His application status was labeled "pending". 

Just as New York State filed its lawsuit against the federal government Monday for blocking New Yorkers from applying or enrolling in the Trusted Traveler Program, Mike logged-into his dashboard on the Homeland Security site, and his application had been removed. "There was no explanation, no denial, no past history, nothing," he said. 

"The worst part is, I paid the $50 dollars.  I called them and after playing whac a mole on the phone with the government, they said there's nothing there, you're banned."

Mike is one of about 225,000 New Yorkers who has relied on Nexus for travel. It had TSA pre-check built into it. It also had his thumb print for global entry. He was able to travel to different countries and have one touch access and be able to get through customs with his baggage in 8-10 minutes.  

Mike's next concern is with his passport, which is marked "global entry". He thinks he will have to renew his passport, get a Real ID, and a TSA card.  He has a trip to Asia this Spring which he thinks will be a nightmare without any type of global entry program.

Who does Mike support in the fight between the state and the federal government?  "I understand exactly where the feds are coming from, not being able to search DMV records, and check on who is a criminal and who is not. Just to get a driver's license for me, an American-born citizen, I had to show my social security card, my birth certificate, my passport, proof of address, a W-2 and a utility bill.  How can someone else just walk in and get a license, with no questions asked? The process is broken."

Asked how he thinks this will play out, Mike told us he expects it to go through the courts with no quick resolution in sight. 



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