New York officials and the National Park Service are at odds over a security plan to protect visitors at the Statue of Liberty when it reopens July Fourth.
Senator Charles Schumer and New York Commissioner Raymond Kelly want the park service to reverse a plan that would require visitors to stop at nearby Ellis Island for security screening after boarding boats from either Lower Manhattan or New Jersey.
Previously, passengers were pre-screened with airport-style metal detectors at the departure dock.
"This screening was put in just after the horrific events of Sept. 11. And I can tell you, in our judgment, the threat has not abated," Kelly said.
Terrorist groups, he added, "have an interest in targeting locations that represent America."
Schumer added, "I know the NPS cares deeply about the monument and its visitors but in this case I think they've made a mistake and should rethink this policy change."
The park service has not responded.
Both officials said any additional costs could be covered in the fee charged to visit the island. They also advocated scheduled ticketing to help reduce lines.
Except for the proposed screening area, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which suffered severe damage to its infrastructure during the storm, will remain closed for repairs.
The statue was closed after Superstorm Sandy even though the statue, which is on higher ground on the island, remained intact.
Storm surges flooded Liberty Island, destroying boilers and electrical systems.