Thursday, January 5, 2017

IDC Records Civil War

de Blasio Reconsiders Helping Feds With Illegal Immigrants 
De Blasio reconsiders helping feds with illegal immigrants (NYP) de Blasio on Monday said for the first time that he is open to expanding the list of 170 offenses that trigger city cooperation with the feds to transfer undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes.  The mayor agreed to the change in response to criticism from Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island) that a number of significant crimes — including forcible touching and welfare fraud — were excluded from the list.  “Why would you protect individuals who are here illegally committing these crimes instead of putting your citizenry first?” Malliotakis asked the mayor during his testimony on the state budget.

State Senate and Two Congressional Committees Move to Stop City's Destruction of IDC Card Records 
Senate proposes bill to prevent destruction of municipal ID records (NYP) The Republican-controlled New York state Senate is proposing legislation that would bar Mayor de Blasio from destroying documents containing personal information about individuals enrolled in his municipal identification program.  The bill would require the city to turn over to the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the Office of New Americans all IDNYC documents within 10 days of creating an ID application.  State Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Hudson Valley), the author of the measure, complained that the city ID Law allows the destruction of records “in an effort to evade the enforcement of federal immigration laws.”  “We don’t have enough ways of vetting for illegal immigrants coming into the country. There is no way to track these people.” Murphy told The Post.* Lawsuit trying to stop destruction of municipal ID records under review (NYP) Two Congressional committees are reviewing a lawsuit seeking to stop the city from destroying municipal-ID card records, sources told The Post.  Officials with the Senate Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Investigations and the House Committee on Homeland Security have received copies of a suit seeking to preserve such records and are discussing whether to investigate Mayor de Blasio’s policy that seeks to destroy them, sources said.  The government-issued IDNYC card has been popular among undocumented immigrants because it allows any city resident age 14 and older to access government buildings and open bank accounts regardless of their immigration status.

NYC Mayor Says GOP Lawsuit Won’t Stop Him From Erasing Records of Undocumented Immigrants (NYO)

IDC Records Civil War: First Day of Hearing On the City's Attempt to Destroy the IDC Records
City still can't destroy IDNYC documents as lawsuitcontinues (SI Advance) On Thursday, State Supreme Court Justice Philip G. Minardo heard testimony from Nisha Agarwal, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs; Steven Banks; commissioner of the city Human Resources Administration/Department of Social Services; and John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism. The assembly members brought the suit after a state official began encouraging banks to accept the ID cards to open bank accounts, which they argue could allow terrorist-funded activities to occur in American banks. Deputy Commissioner Miller testified that if terrorists did conduct financial transactions in American banks, it would be easier to detect them.  Castorina was particularly unhappy with the questions posed by Miller when he was on the stand, as she pressed him about FOIL and retaining the records. "American blood is at stake here," he said. He called Deputy Commissioner Miller's testimony "political mumbo jumbo," saying later when speaking to the press that Miller acts as an agent of the mayor's office, not an apolitical law enforcement expert. Castorina and Malliotakis are hoping Councilman Carlos Menchaca, the chairman of the City Council Immigration Committee who commented to the press that the city wants to destroy the documents because of a Republican White House, and John Burnett, a banking expert, will testify in court next week. Minardo has not decided yet whether he will call on them.*    New York City ID Holders Aren’t a Threat, N.Y.P.D.Official Says in Court (NYT) “In the course of two years, we have not seen New York City IDs surfacing in a rampage of terrorism threats or other matters,” Mr. Miller said. For six hours, Justice Minardo questioned city officials and the Staten Island lawmakers, Ronald Castorina Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis, both Republicans, and then agreed to hear more witnesses for the plaintiffs next week. In the meantime, the city must continue to retain the documents, which were to have been destroyed on Dec. 31. When questioned by Justice Minardo, Mr. Castorina was dismissive of Mr. Miller’s testimony.  “What I heard was political mumbo jumbo,” Mr. Castorina said on the stand.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has made IDNYC a signature of his administration, and Mr. Castorina said later that 

Mr. Miller was beholden to the mayor. Mr. Miller said that there was actually a greater risk of “massive identity fraud” in retaining the scanned documents, leaving them open to hacking.  Ravi Batra a lawyer recently retained by Mr. Castorina and Ms. Malliotakis, argued that the city’s “compassion” toward the underprivileged came at the expense of the security of all New Yorkers.* Know when tofold ’em: The politicians suing the city over its plans to destroy IDNYCdocuments should give it up (NYDN)

IDC Records Civil War: Judge Says Hold the Records Until Jan Court Date 

Staten Island lawmakers suit aims to save ID card records(Newsweek)  Two Republican Assembly members are suing to stop Mayor Bill de Blasio from a Trump-inspired purge of records on people who signed up for municipal ID cards that are offered regardless of immigration status.A state judge late last month temporarily barred the city from destroying the records while the court considers the suit, which challenges a provision of the 2014 law establishing the IDNYC cards that empower de Blasio to delete the database.  it’s just ridiculous,” said Assemb. Ron Castorina Jr., who appeared Tuesday at City Hall with his co-plaintiff, Assemb. Nicole Malliotakis.  Ravi Batra, a lawyer working pro bono on the challenge, said that destroying records could allow a terrorist to get a government-issued card through fraudulent means, with no ability to audit the program.* NYC to keep municipal ID cards free for all cityresidents (NYDN)  The changes come as the city is grappling with how to continue the program under President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.  After his election to the White House, the city stopped retaining new cardholders’ background documents, and vowed to destroy previously gathered information on existing cardholders.  Also on Tuesday, high-profile lawyer Ravi Batra announced he’d join the court case combatting the city’s plans to destroy personal documents of card holders pro bono because he thinks what the city is doing is unconstitutional.  “We can be compassionate ... but it doesn’t mean we slit our wrists and destroy records,” said Batra at a City Hall press conference.*  NYPD Union Head Joins GOP Fight to Stop NYC From FlushingRecords on the Undocumented (NYO) “I write to inform the court of the law enforcement community’s strong belief that the city’s implementation of its purge is a grievous and misguided policy error that should not be allowed to occur,” wrote Mullins, a registered Republican and Long Island resident. “The mayor’s plan to destroy a database of government-held information, which could assist law enforcement in potentially solving crimes or, more urgently, preventing attacks on the city, is dangerous and foolish.” *  NYC’s former top cop slams de Blasio for plans to destroymunicipal ID program records (NYDN) The city’s former top cop slammed the de Blasio administration’s move to destroy personal information of New Yorkers who apply for the municipal ID program.  Howard Safir claimed the program — started in January 2015 to help undocumented immigrants obtain public assistance — makes it easy for potential criminals to obtain fraudulent identities.  Shortly after Trump was elected, the de Blasio administration announced it would erase the database of names.  * A judge ruled New York City must delay the destruction of records associated with its municipal identification program, IDNYC, until a full hearing could be convened in the first week of January,The New York Times reports.

 Republican Lawsuit Forces NYC’s Hand on Identifications for Undocumented Immigrants(NYO) Court Injunction Secures Records * Amid fears the IDNYC initiative could be used by President-elect Donald Trump to deport undocumented immigrants, New York City officials said they will no longer retain personal documents of applicants for the municipal ID program, The Wall Street Journal writes.

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