Ethics: De Blasio’s ID program for illegal immigrants has self-destruct option if GOP wins in 2016

This is not how republican democracy is designed to operate.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial program that would create new municipal identification cards for illegal immigrants so they can take advantage of city services just got a touch more scandalous. According to a report in The New York Post, the program would automatically destroy all the information the city collects on illegal immigrants in the event that Republicans win control of the White House in 2016.

In order to get an ID, residents must provide their names, addresses, aliases, dates of birth and other information, making it easy for the feds to identify undocumented immigrants.

[City Councilman Carlos] Menchaca said the Obama administration has shown no interest in going after the data, but he didn’t want to take any chances on the next administration.

“Though we have not seen documents like this get requested at the level of the federal government, that could be a possibility, so that really allows us to protect the data,” he said.

Immigrant advocates praised the provision.

That is positively obscene. There is no guarantee that the levers of government that you construct will not be used in ways that you find distasteful when the opposition comes to power. That’s what you might call a check on the power of government; at least, it should be.

It is difficult to think of an equivalent hypothetical that would communicate to liberals the underhandedness of this approach. The design of this proposal by de Blasio’s administration is to shield those who break laws that the mayor’s office believes are unjust from prosecution for their infractions.

Of all the conservative reforms that are popular with the majority of the public but are anathema to liberals – increasing access to firearms, promoting the ability of Americans to send their children to the school of their choice, reforming the tax code to uniformly reduce the burden on individuals and families – none would be engineered in a way to prevent Democrats from administering them. Why would they? The ultimate Republican goal is to guide the nation – left, right, and center –toward a more conservative place. If the design of those reforms is to shift the Overton Window of palatable programmatic initiatives to the right, why would conservatives want to prevent Democrats from benefiting as much as Republicans from their fruits?

By contrast, de Blasio’s administration is being so openly lawless in this instance that it is moving to ensure that Republicans cannot correct for this grave assault on the rule of law. If this municipal reform is both popular and sound law, why would it self-destruct if Republicans take the White House? If the mayor was so sure of the value of municipal identification cards for illegal immigrants, why wouldn’t he dare Republicans to attempt to undue this initiative. Unless, he’s not so sure of his own footing on this matter, which makes this self-destruct provision all the more craven.