NYCLU Pulls Support From NYC ID Bill Over Privacy Concerns

July 10, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

In theory, the NYCLU is in favor of a proposal to create IDs for all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status, but has some major concerns about its implementation. In a statement, the organization wrote that they understand the “significant benefits” of an ID for immigrants, transgendered people or others with identity issues. However, they have pulled their support for the bill due to the requirement to give the city sensitive documents such as pay stubs and social security numbers.

Because of the way this system is set up, law enforcement including the FBI would be able to view these documents without a warrant at any time, with no obligation to inform anyone that they’ve done so. The NYCLU finds this too substantial of a concern to support the bill, as it could lead to deportation and victimization of the very people the bill is supposed to help. They encouraged that the city “fully utilize” the protections that are in the bill, including “the reporting requirement [which] will provide valuable metrics on how and when people’s documents are used by law enforcement, and the sunset provision [which] gives the city a meaningful opportunity to end the document retention after a preliminary period.”