New York City Municipal ID card: profits for banks, cover for criminals and terrorists

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New York City has passed a law to give municipal identification cards to any qualifying resident of that city, regardless of immigration status [1]. Like similar efforts in other cities, the real goals include building up a political power base for politicians and enriching major banks.

In the case of the NYC card, they're specifically covering up for future criminals and terrorists. Here are some of the issues with the card:

1. The card incentivizes illegal immigration. In order to give out as many as possible, Mayor Bill De Blasio is offering free admission to zoos, museums, etc. for one year to bearers. Even if few bearers take advantage of those discounts, the message is clear: New York City welcomes illegal aliens. People aren't going to come here illegally just to get free admission to the Guggenheim, but they will realize that if they move to NYC and avoid major crimes they'll be welcomed. That will lead to more illegal immigration, not less.

2. In the legislation, the only businesses mentioned specifically are banks: "The city shall seek to encourage eligible persons to apply for the card... by promoting acceptance of the card by banks and other public and private institutions." [2]. Why could they be so keen on banks accepting the cards? Because that means money. Banks will profit from opening accounts for illegal aliens, giving them loans, and sending part of their money out of the country via remittances. The Federal Reserve is trying to take a cut of the remittances market, and has promoted efforts to get the "unbanked" into the financial system. Liberals will be sold on "undocumented workers" using the cards to check out library books and visit the zoo, but one of the real goals is to make money for major banks and the Federal Reserve. All of that is a major example of corruption: entities profiting from money they know was earned illegally, with the assistance of the government. See immigration banks for extensive coverage of similar efforts in other cities and states.

3. Another ulterior motive is more power for corrupt politicians. The cards don't seem like they confer any sort of voting rights, although that might change. There's been a push to give illegal aliens voting rights in local elections; see this and immigration voting. That may be a glimmer in the eye of some politicians. But, even without having the right to vote, any large group of people confers power. The card will encourage more illegal aliens to live in NYC and will establish power bases in that community for politicians like De Blasio and city councilmembers.

4. The card will not be secure, due to the "GIGO" effect. To receive a card someone will have to provide proof of residency and some form of ID. The first could be easily faked. The second includes things like Mexico's Matricula Consular card. Both the Department of Justice and the FBI have concluded that card is not a reliable form of identification. The agency in charge of administering the cards can, according to the law, decide different forms of ID have different weights and require two forms of ID. However, given that the goal is to get ID cards into the hands of as many people as possible, does anyone think they aren't going to be as lenient as they can be, especially when those responsible for hiring them want the program to succeed? Other forms of ID are also acceptable, like broadly-defined foreign IDs. How difficult would it be for a foreign criminal or terrorist to bribe an official in their country to give them a fake ID, which they'd then use to establish ID in the U.S.? In addition to accepting potentially-fake foreign IDs, the NYC card makes declaring the bearer's gender optional and by their own definition [3].

5. In addition to all the above, New York City will destroy evidence and cover up for potential criminals and terrorists. Every quarter they're going to destroy records older than two years that were used to obtain the cards. So, someone could obtain a NYC municipal ID using fraudulent documents, keep their noses clean for a couple years (as many terrorists have been known to do), and then they'd rest assured that New York City will have destroyed the records of the fake documents they used to obtain NYC's ID card. NYC will only retain records and disclose records in certain cases, such as court orders [4]. In the cases of undercover terrorists, court orders are usually too late.

Want to do something about this? If you're an NYC resident then make the points above to your fellow citizens. On the national level, the ID cards can be used to discredit leading supposed-liberals. For instance, if an MSNBC host thinks the cards are a great idea, then you point out to their audience that the MSNBC host is helping big banks increase their profits. That will tend to reduce the credibility of that MSNBC host, especially to the part of their audience that supports Occupy Wall Street.

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[1] legistar . council . nyc . gov/Legislation.aspx
File #: Int 0253-2014
Name: Creation of a New York city identity card program.
Law number: 2014/035

[2] "The city shall seek to encourage eligible persons to apply for the card and expand the benefits associated with the card, including, at a minimum, by promoting acceptance of the card by banks and other public and private institutions... ...[the quarterly report shall discuss] the city's efforts to promote acceptance of the New York city identity card by banks and other public and private institutions..."

[3] "Such card shall also, at the cardholder's option, display the cardholder's self-designated gender."

[4] The privacy section:

e. Confidentiality of New York city identity card eligibility information
(1) Once every quarter the city shall destroy copies of records provided by applicants to prove identity or residency for a New York city identity card that have been retained more than two years, except where such records are required by law to be preserved as evidence for purposes of litigation.
(2) 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 pursuant to paragraph one of this subdivision in order to effectively administer the New York city identity card program and shall make any appropriate modifications to the policy for retention of records related to the New York city identity card program.
(3) 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. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent the city from retaining records where such records are required by law to be preserved as evidence for purposes of litigation.
(4) To the maximum extent allowed by applicable federal and state law, information collected about applicants for the card shall be treated as confidential and may only be disclosed if:
(i) Authorized in writing by the individual to whom such information pertains, or if such individual is a minor or is otherwise not legally competent, by such individual's parent or legal guardian;
(ii) So ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction;
(iii) To a requesting city agency for the limited purpose of administering the New York city identity card program or determining or facilitating the applicant's eligibility for additional benefits, services, and care, provided that such disclosure is made in accordance with all applicable federal and state privacy laws and regulations, and subject to the further requirement that such information shall not be redisclosed to any other governmental agency or entity, or third party; or
(iv) To a law enforcement agency that serves the administering agency a judicial subpoena or judicial warrant.
(5) The city shall not indicate on the application forms used to apply for a New York city identity card the type of records provided by an applicant to establish residency or identity.