Kingston, New York Moves Forward With Municipal ID Cards
By David Jaroslav | October 18, 2018
The City of Kingston, New York, estimated 2017 population 23,169, is the county seat of Ulster County, in the Hudson Valley almost 100 miles north of New York City and about half as much south of Albany. In recent years it has been a destination of choice for so many people fleeing New York City that some have nicknamed it “the new Brooklyn.” Yet those relocating from the Big Apple appear to have brought their reckless open-borders policies with them. In 2017 they adopted a sanctuary-city resolution (pgs. 7-8), and this month they’ve been taking steps to emulate New York City and then some by creating a municipal ID card program, too.
Notably, the State of New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV) already issues ID cards for non-drivers, but despite repeated efforts to change this along the lines of states like California, they still require proof of legal residence. New York City’s IDNYC card, first issued in 2015, does not.
On October 2, Kingston’s ten-member Common Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the development of a municipal ID card program. The Daily Freeman, Kingston’s local newspaper, has repeatedly characterized any such proposed program as obviously meant to “help” illegal aliens, despite some of its proponents occasionally pointing to other populations such as senior citizens, “transgender” individuals, released convicts or the homeless (all of whom are already eligible for NYDMV ID cards as long as they’re legal residents).
The resolution called for the Corporation Counsel’s office to draft more detailed legislation that would actually create the ID card program and detail its implementation, and on October 17, the first official version of that legislation was on the agenda for a meeting of the council’s Laws and Rules Committee. The card would, of course, “be available...regardless of … alienage or citizenship status[.]”
Council Majority Leader Reynolds Scott-Childress (D-Ward 3), the program’s chief sponsor, has repeatedly extolled the virtues of a municipal ID card in the predictable open-borders language of “promot[ing] unity and inclusiveness,” as well as dismissing concerns about costs or anything else as minimal or unfounded. He’s even said the initial cost would (somehow) be “pretty much zero[.]”
Yet the city’s own staff have expressed multiple serious concerns about the ID cards. Kingston City Clerk and Registrar Carly Winnie and her Deputy Clerk Deidre Sills “said they did not have the staff or space to handle the demands for such a program, and they questioned whether the Clerk's Office had to provide the identification cards or whether the city's Office of Human Rights could do so.” Furthermore, “Winnie said she was also concerned with her office issuing the identification because it could not, under state law, accept it as a valid form of identification for issuing such documents as birth certificates and marriage licenses. She said she was also concerned with the potential for fraud in obtaining and using the identifications.”
Alderman Bill Carey (D-Ward 5), appeared to back up the Clerk, saying “there still are many questions the city needs to answer before implementing the ID card program[.]”
None of those questions appear to have yet been answered by the rest of the council. They, and Kingston citizens, may want to seriously reconsider whether this is the best use of their resources.