Two lawmakers sued on Monday to try to stop New York City from destroying personal records related to its immigrant-friendly municipal ID cards, a move the city is considering to prevent the data from becoming a deportation tool for a new Republican administration.
The lawsuit comes ahead of a Dec. 31 date for the city to decide whether to delete copies of the passports, birth certificates, educational records and other documents submitted by more than 900,000 IDNYC cardholders. The data was built into the program from its 2014 start, partly out of concern about the possible election of a Republican such as Donald Trump, whose campaign promises included deporting millions of illegals.
Republican Assembly members Ron Castorina and Nicole Malliotakis, citing state public-records laws, say destroying government records “due to the results of a federal election is against the ideals of the United States and has no basis in law.”
The lawmakers, both from Staten Island, argue that the information could help to trace cardholders if they commit crimes or obtain municipal IDs under fraudulent identities, perhaps for nefarious purposes.
Asked about the lawsuit, Mayor Bill de Blasio said “the reason people were willing to trust us is: We made very clear that there would never be a situation where it would lead to their deportation, and we’re going to keep that pledge.”
Officials said no decision had been made on retaining the records.