NEW YORK CITY — The city's IDNYC program will return for a third year with officials vowing to no longer store the personal information of applicants over concern about Donald Trump's plans to extradite undocumented immigrants.
The program issues free municipal identification cards to New York residents regardless of their immigration status.
Under city law, the data used to confirm the identity of IDNYC applicants was set to be destroyed on Dec. 31.
After President-elect Donald Trump promised to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and impose financial penalties on sanctuary cities that shelter them, Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded current cardholders and future applicants that the data would be destroyed and pledged to never turn over the information to the federal government.
But the city was ordered to not destroy the data after a lawsuit was filed by Republican Assembly members Ron Castorina Jr. and Nicole Malliotakis seeking to force the city to retain the data.
The next hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Over 900,000 New Yorkers have signed up for the identification which offers free, year-long memberships to some of the city's signature cultural institutions such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
There are 38 cultural institutions who have signed up for the IDNYC membership program with 11 being added this year, including the Museum of Arts and Design, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling and the Jacques Marchais Center for Tibetan Art.
Some others, such as the Guggenheim, are no longer participating in the program.
The memberships are open to all IDNYC holders regardless of when they signed up for the card, so long as they have not had a membership at the institution in the last four years.
“The IDNYC program started with the simple idea of bridging divides between the people and government, so that all New Yorkers have access to the resources they need to live full, productive lives here in NYC," de Blasio said in a statement.