SEPTEMBER 02, 2008
A Connecticut state agency that ensures citizens’ access to public records has ruled that its second-largest city doesn’t have to disclose information relating to controversial identification cards designed to help illegal immigrants integrate into city life.
About 6,000 New Haven residents—mostly illegal immigrants—have obtained the city’s official municipal identification cards and one group wants more information on the cardholders. The state’s Homeland Security chief (James Thomas) ordered the city not to release the information because it could put cardholders in “harm’s way.”
More importantly, Connecticut’s Homeland Security chief used the same pathetic argument that sanctuary cities across the nation love to cite when they refuse to enforce immigration laws; it will destroy crucial cooperation between the growing illegal immigrant community and police. So the official in charge of guarding the state’s security endorses protecting undocumented aliens who live there illegally.
Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission agreed with its Homeland Security chief, ruling that the records are indeed exempt from disclosure. The five-member state agency administers and enforces the provisions of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act and supposedly ensures citizen’s access to public records.
The decision is being legally challenged by a group that claims the city’s interpretation illegally expanded the categories of exemption allowed under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The suit points out that only records, whose disclosure would result in a threat to certain government and public utility facilities and their occupants, are exempt from public scrutiny.
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