Archive for February, 2015
Chairman Jerry Kassar discusses President Reagan; publically financed elctions, corruption in Albany, term limits and more in this weeks Common Sense: The question in the Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator. See http://homereporter.com/common-sense-the-question/
This just in from Assemblymember Malliotakis who is taking on City Officials Dangerous Plans to Destroy Muni ID Data
February 19, 2015
MALLIOTAKIS TO CITY OFFICIALS: DESTRUCTION OF RECORDS IRRESPONSIBLE, POSES THREAT
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) recently sent the attached letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Daniel Dromm, and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca expressing grave concern about the city’s plans to destroy the records of individuals who obtain New York City identification cards, through a program enacted by Int. No. 253-A.
In the letter, Assemblywoman Malliotakis expresses her concern that distributing government-issued identification cards to hundreds of thousands of individuals, many of whom reside in the country unlawfully, and destroying the records of those who possess the cards are a threat to public safety and national security. The lax requirements for obtaining a municipal identification card could provide access to individuals looking to conduct malicious activity. Malliotakis, who has previously stated her opposition to the program as a whole, believes that the destruction of these records would be irresponsible.
“Many of the program’s proponents responded to these concerns with arguments that the cards would actually increase security and aid law enforcement by identifying undocumented individuals living within New York City, providing an ancillary benefit used to build public support and persuade your colleagues in government. The purging of data authorized by [the statute] would more than simply compromise this benefit, it would create a new risk to the safety of all New York City residents in that, should someone use the program to create a fake identity for malicious purposes, we would be left without the means to learn how he or she created it,” the letter reads. “The City of New York would have issued an estimate half million identification cards and have no record of who those identification cards were issued to. The records provided to the city in pursuit of the identification cards carry their own inherent value.”
The 9/11 Commission report identified the use of identity fraud and falsified identifications by terrorists. “All but one of the 9/11 hijackers acquired some form of U.S. identification document, some by fraud. Acquisition of these forms of identification would have assisted them in boarding commercial flights, renting cars and other necessary activities.” The Commission recommended that the federal government set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as drivers licenses. “Fraud in identification is no longer just a problem of theft,” the report said.
Assemblywoman Malliotakis has also taken issue with the reasoning indicated by one of the bill’s sponsors, Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, to the press earlier this week in which he stated, “In case a Tea Party Republican comes into office and says, ‘we want all the data from all the municipal ID programs in the country.’” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/17/new-york-city-municipal-id-cards-_n_6700304.html) Malliotakis finds it dangerous, misguided, and irresponsible to take a political stance on an issue as critical as homeland security.
The letter suggests amendments to the law including the removal of subsection (e), which permits the destruction of records, and replacing it with language that would require the retention of records acquired through the IDNYC application process or, at the very least, ensure that the determination made by the administering agency before the 2016 deadline is made in full consideration of our city’s interest in law enforcement and counterterrorism. Malliotakis also urges an amendment to explicitly identify which documents are required in order to qualify for the card or, at the very least, codify the requirements presently indicated on the IDNYC application.
Finally, the letter expresses Assemblywoman Malliotakis’s concerns with how the document requirements were promulgated. Malliotakis inquires as to whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the New York City Police Department Intelligence Division & Counterterrorism Bureau consulted during the creation of this program, whether the city has investigated or considered the ramifications of destroying files of hundreds of thousands of applicants who will now have government-issued identification cards, and what controls have been implemented to ensure that the documentation provided with an application is not fraudulent.
A copy of the letter is attached.
February 18, 2015
Hon. Bill de Blasio Hon. Melissa Mark-Viverito Hon. Daniel Dromm Hon. Carlos Menchaca
Mayor Speaker Councilmember Councilmember
City Hall City Hall 37-32 75th Street 4417 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10007 New York, NY 10007 Jackson Heights, NY 11372 Brooklyn, NY 11220
Dear Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Dromm, and Councilmember Menchaca:
I write to you with regard to §3-115 of the New York City Administrative Code outlining the New York City Identification Card (“IDNYC) program, enacted by Int. No. 253-A (2014) co-sponsored by Councilmembers Dromm and Menchaca. My concern lies more specifically in subsection (e)(2) of the statute which states:
On or before December 31, 2016, the administering agency shall review data collected in the report described in subdivision h of this section and make a determination regarding the continuing need to retain records … and shall make any appropriate modifications to the policy for retention of records related to the New York city identity card program. [emphasis added].
This provision orders the administering agency to ascertain, by the end of 2016, whether the records
obtained through the program’s administration should be retained or destroyed.
Subsection (e)(3) reads, subsequently:
In the event that: (i) the administering agency fails to make a determination on or before December 31, 2016 pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision, or (ii) the administering agency determines that records retention is no longer necessary, then the city shall not retain originals or copies of records provided by an applicant to prove identity or residency for a New York city identity card for longer than the time needed to review the application, and any such records in the city’s possession prior to such date shall be destroyed on or before December 31, 2016 or, in the case of an application pending on such date, as soon as practicable after a final determination has been made regarding the application. [emphasis added]
Alarmingly, this provision orders the city to destroy these records should the administering agency fail to enter the aforementioned determination by the required date, thereby creating a presumption that retention of records will not be necessary.
Even more alarming were statements made this week by Councilman Menchaca indicating the reason for the destruction of files would be politically motivated1 and not based on the safety and security of all New Yorkers2. I find this reasoning wholly irresponsible.
While the intent of this statute was to provide undocumented residents, including those unlawfully residing within the country, with government-issued identification, individuals may be taking advantage of this program for malicious purposes. As you surely recall, the ensuing debate over Int. 253-A yielded concerns with regard to security and the potential use of the identification cards to pursue committing acts of terrorism. Many of the program’s proponents responded to these concerns with arguments that the cards would actually increase security2 and aid law enforcement3 by identifying undocumented individuals living within New York City, providing an ancillary benefit used to build public support and persuade your colleagues in government. The purging of data authorized by subsection (e) would more than simply compromise this benefit, it would create a new risk to the safety of all New York City residents in that, should someone use the program to create a fake identity for malicious purposes, we would be left without the means to learn how he or she created it. The City of New York would have issued an estimate half million identification cards and have no record of who those identification cards were issued to. The records provided to the city in pursuit of the identification cards carry their own inherent value.
The ever-present fear of terrorism within our city has already been voiced with respect to this issue, but it must not be overlooked. While over a decade has passed since New York City was attacked on September 11, 2001, the threat endures. With the announcement of our nation’s escalated role in fighting the most violent and brutal terrorist organization the world has ever known5, accompanied by reports on how the members of that organization are attempting to infiltrate and attack nations that oppose it4, now is not the time to take a political stance at the expense of our efforts to combat terrorism here at home. It is dangerous and misguided.
I strongly urge you to amend §3-115 of the New York City Administrative Code by striking subsection (e) and replacing it with language that would require the retention of records acquired through the IDNYC application process or, at the very least, ensure that the determination made by the administering agency before the 2016 deadline is made in full consideration of our city’s interest in law enforcement and counterterrorism.
Furthermore, I remain concerned with how the program is fundamentally administered. Subsection (d) of the statute lists a variety of documents that can be provided in order to obtain an identification card, ranging from a foreign national identification card5, to a written verification issued by a homeless shelter that the applicant has been in the city for at least 15 days6, to “any other documentation that the administering agency deems acceptable.7” While the IDNYC application requires the production of multiple documents, weighted in accordance of their reliability and ability to withstand scrutiny8, the lax restrictiveness of the statute would permit these requirements to be relaxed and allow the IDNYC program to lower the standard for application. I strongly urge you to amend §3-115 by explicitly identifying which documents are required or, at the very least, codify the requirements presently indicated on the IDNYC application.
My final concern lies in questions as to how the document requirements were promulgated. Were the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the New York City Police Department Intelligence Division & Counterterrorism Bureau consulted during the creation of this program? Have you investigated, or considered, the ramifications of destroying files of hundreds of thousands of applicants who will now have government-issued identification cards? Further, can you identify controls that have been implemented to ensure that the documentation provided with an application is not fraudulent?
I thank you in advance for your consideration of my suggestions, and anxiously await your response to my questions.
cc: Hon. Vincent Gentile, Councilmember, 43rd District Hon. Vincent Ignizio, Council Minority Leader, 51st District
Hon. Steven Matteo, Councilmember , 50th District
Hon. Deborah Rose, Councilmember, 49th District