IDNYC could make Bill de Blasio liable to federal prosecution

As of 2016, Greater New York was home to an estimated 1.1 million illegal aliens. Be it as it may that they entered the country illegally, and that they avoided USCIS criminal background checks and medical examinations in doing so, the City of New York is proudly accepting them as equal members of the community, to the degree possible.

On Monday, January 12, 2015, new municipal ID cards became available in New York City. To mark the occasion, Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed that they would allow many New Yorkers to emerge from the shadows. “It’s going to make their lives better, because in the absence of identification in modern society, there are so many things you can’t do,” de Blasio continued.

What is the IDNYC Card?

The IDNYC card enables New York City residents to access city government services and grant admission to city government buildings, such as schools. The IDNYC is accepted as proof of identification by NYC police, and can be used as identification when opening a banking account at select financial institutions.

This enables illegal aliens to open bank accounts or to access government buildings without fear of being asked about their immigration status, in spite of the fact that they really should be asked about their immigration status.

In order to receive an IDNYC card a person needs to present documents worth, in total, four points, with at least three points proving identity and at least point proving residency. Foreign passports, driver's licenses and national ID cards work for proving identity. It's not that New York City is opposed to requiring documentation, they only object to insisting that the documentation come from the United States.

IDNYC After Donald Trump's Election Victory

Immediately following the election of Donald Trump as President, Mayor de Blasio and the NYC City Council announced that the city would stop storing personal background documents used to apply for IDNYC cards. This would prevent immigration law enforcement agencies like ICE from using those documents to locate and deport residents who are in the country illegally.

The announcement by New York City officials was made on Wednesday, December 7, 2016; the very same day that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York temporarily barred the city from wiping out any documentation that had been submitted by municipal card applicants.

That temporary injunction was granted in response to a legal challenge filed by two Republican members of the State Assembly, from Staten Island. The petitioners, Ronald Castorina, Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis, argued that the destruction clause in IDNYC program legislation violates the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). The stated rationale for NYC's intention to destroy applicant records was the protection of privacy. The petitioners claimed that the city's privacy argument was a sham, because the FOIL permits redaction of records where necessary to protect privacy.

Court Decisions

On April 7, 2017, a NY State Supreme Court judge ruled that the city could proceed with destroying personal documents used to sign up for the IDNYC program. Despite this ruling, New York City will still be required to save copies of submitted applications and ID cards granted, as well as photos of the cardholders. This information could be obtained by a law enforcement agency, or by anyone possessing a judicial warrant or subpoena.

Six days prior to bringing their suit, State Assembly members Ronald Castorina, Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis submitted requests, pursuant to New York State's Freedom of Information Law, for "all scanned application materials associated with IDNYC." On August 5, 2019, a judge in Manhattan rejected their bid to force New York City to turn over redacted versions of documents provided to apply for the municipal ID cards.

Update: IDNYC could make Bill de Blasio liable to prosecution

8 U.S. Code § 1324 Bringing in and harboring certain aliens (a)(i)(A)(iii) subjects to criminal penalties any person who

knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

On January 22, 2020, Nolan Rappaport posted an opinion piece called How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? He suggests the IDNYC municipal ID card may violate 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii), which is a very serious offense. In cases resulting in the death of any person, the infraction could be punished by death or imprisonment for life.

The most frequent description of “harboring” used by courts is actions making it easier for an illegal alien to remain in the United States. Nolan Rappaport says this is arguably what Bill de Basio is doing by means of the NYC municipal identification card.

He cites James H. Walsh, who served in the Immigration and Naturalization Service as an associate general counsel, as saying that mayors of sanctuary cities are not exempt from prosecution if they harbor or protect illegal aliens.

Disclaimer: Information on this website is not legal advice.