Bay Ridge

Malliotakis calls for halt to de Blasio ID card program

Wants undocumented immigrants cut out

November 23, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis says suspending the IDNYC program would help to ensure that the identification cards do not fall into the wrong hands. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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The city should suspend giving undocumented immigrants ID cards under its IDNYC program in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks to ensure that the identification cards do not fall into the hands of would-be terrorists, according to Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis.

Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said she is troubled that the program, which began issuing municipal ID cards to New Yorkers earlier this year, includes the distribution of cards to individuals without legal citizenship status.

“In a time of heightened alarm, we must take precautionary measures to ensure safety and security for New York’s citizens. I strongly believe that the IDNYC Municipal ID Card program provides easy access to individuals looking to conduct malicious activity by allowing them to obtain an identity by fraudulent means. To reduce the risk of a government-issued identification falling into the wrong hands and prevent another tragic incident from happening here at home, the lax distribution of identification should be suspended immediately,” Malliotakis said in a statement.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, reports surfaced that one of the terrorists had entered France as part of the wave of refugees fleeing Islamic State violence in Syria.

Malliotakis pointed to the 9/11 Commission Report, which recognized the use of stolen identities and fraudulent identification by terrorists. Its report highlighted that all but one of the 9/11 hijackers acquired some form of U.S. identification. In attaining these forms of identification, they would have been allowed to board commercial flights, make rentals and enter government buildings.

The Commission recommended that the federal government set standards for the issuance of important documentation, such as birth certificates, driver licenses and other legitimate sources of identification. 

“Government’s first priority is to keep its citizenry safe and we cannot overlook the looming threat of terrorism within our state and country. As threats endure, it is critical that our government, at every level, takes caution and remains prepared and vigilant,” Malliotakis said. 

Malliotakis said she has written to Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilmembers Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) and Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook), who sponsored the legislation creating the ID program, to express her concern with the city program.

Malliotakis said she is particularly concerned with a proposal to destroy documents used by registrants who obtained the identification cards.

The de Blasio administration refused to consider suspending the IDNYC program.

“We will continue to support immigrant New Yorkers and refugees who come to New York City. The IDNYC was developed in close collaboration with the NYPD, and meets the level of security at state DMVs across the United States. The availability of an IDNYC makes our city safer for all New Yorkers by providing proper identification to interact with law enforcement and reducing barriers to full participation in civic life — not only for immigrants, but for the elderly, homeless, youth, transgender and other communities that have historically had difficulty obtaining identification,” de Blasio spokeswoman Rosemary Boeglin told the Brooklyn Eagle via email.

Boeglin charged that calls to suspend the program “are no more than irresponsible, fact-free fear mongering.”


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