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Dems Beg Bay Ridge Republican: Drop Lawsuit To Keep Data Gathered on Undocumented

December 14, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is coming under pressure from Democrats over her IDNYC stance. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis is fighting City Hall and Democrats in Bay Ridge are fighting her. Leaders of the Bay Ridge Democrats club are urging their members to flood the Republican lawmaker’s office with phone calls to demand that she drop her lawsuit against the de Blasio Administration over IDNYC card holders.

Malliotakis (R-C- Bay Ridge-Staten Island) and fellow Republican Assemblymember Ron Castorina (R-C-Staten Island) filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on Dec. 5 to try to prevent New York City from destroying personal records acquired through the application process for the IDNYC municipal identification card program.

The IDNYC cards are available to all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants.

Malliotakis and Castorina argue that the records of applicants should be stored for public safety purposes. But the de Blasio Administration has ordered that the records be destroyed to protect the privacy of IDNYC card holders.

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The administration made the move following the election of Donald Trump, who has vowed to deport undocumented immigrants.

Kristen Pettit, chairperson of the Bay Ridge Democrats’ Action Committee, sent an email to club members on Dec. 13 calling on them to call Malliotakis’ district offices to voice their objections to the lawsuit.

“Governments keeping a list of ‘potential criminals’ and gathering their personal information under false pretenses damages the very fabric of our Constitutional freedoms. Assemblywoman Malliotakis should drop the suit immediately,” Pettit wrote in her email.

The email lists the phone numbers of both Malliotakis’ Bay Ridge and Staten Island district offices.

Pettiit also included this bit of advice for callers: “Be firm, but please be courteous.”

Malliotakis and Castorina won a victory on Dec. 7 when the Appellate Division upheld a temporary restraining order on the city to prevent the records from being destroyed, at least for the time being.

“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. This data could be helpful in the future to investigate a crime perpetrated with the use of an IDNYC card,” Malliotakis said in a statement following the Appellate Division ruling.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio is not backing down.

“If you look at the original legislation, which is the law of this city, it was quite clear that we’re not going to allow ourselves to be in a situation where those records would be turned over to the federal government,” the Staten Island Advance quoted de Blasio as saying at a recent press conference.

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