To protect undocumented immigrants from the possibility of deportation under President-elect Donald Trump, New York City will no longer hold onto data collected from those who apply for a municipal ID card.
“The IDNYC program will be transitioning to a policy that does not involve the retention of cardholders’ personal background documents,” according to a joint statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and the City Council. “We expect to begin processing complete applications under the new policy in January.”
Card applicants still need to bring documents proving their identity to obtain an IDNYC card, but the city will no longer retain information from those documents.
Such personal data is still on file from the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are already cardholders, and the city has until Dec. 31 to decide what to do with that information. A provision of the law put into place at the beginning of the IDNYC program allows the information to be destroyed up until the end of this year.
Some city officials disagree with the impending change.
“It is unconscionable that the City of New York would distribute nearly 900,000 identification cards, then destroy all the documents applicants used to apply for those cards,” Staten Island Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said at a press conference on Dec. 5. “This data could be helpful in the future to investigate a crime perpetrated with the use of an IDNYC card.”