In preparation for a potential crackdown on undocumented immigrants, New York City is making changes to its IDNYC program, Remezcla reports.
IDNYC’s mission is to guarantee access to critical services for all eight million New Yorkers — including the city’s most vulnerable communities. It also provides cool benefits, like a free one year membership at cultural institutions that are otherwise unaffordable for so many. New York, with its gaping inequalities, is no perfect utopia. But initiatives like this still make me so happy to have given my 20s to New York. It’s a place where new ideas get a chance to grow.
Yet here’s the dark side. To process those cards, the city has also collected personal background documents for nearly a million people. So it’s much like DACA — many fear a program once designed to support and empower undocumented Americans will now expose them to deportation.
Beginning in January, NYC will stop retaining those documents as it processes new applications. This doesn’t solve everything. Current cardholders’ documents remain, at least for now, on file. But it’s a great step, and one that gives me faith that Mayor Bill DeBlasio will hold to his post election promise.
“We are not going to sacrifice a half million people who live among us,” he said to the press at City Hall. “We’re not going to tear families apart. We will do everything we know how to do to resist that.”