The New York Attorney General has shut down a non-profit in the Bronx that an investigation by Telemundo 47 Investiga and WNYC Radio revealed was selling bogus ID cards that promised protection from deportation.
“A New Beginning for Immigrant’s Rights, Inc. must cease soliciting contributions, including through government grants, or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York,” the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau said in a letter to the group’s founder Carlos Davila on Thursday.
The order comes in the wake of the Telemundo 47 Investiga / WNYC Radio investigation that found Davila was selling ID cards for $200 that he promised in a promotional video would stop federal authorities from deporting the holder.
Davila hedged on that promise when confronted by reporters.
“We can’t say ICE isn’t going to touch you, but it’s a big possibility that they will not do what they do with other people, because they just arrest them,” he said. “Now with this here they have insurance that they are protected. They know their rights.”
New York Congresswoman Nydia Valasquez called the cards “a total scam” in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York saying “there is no difference between this card… and ‘know your rights’ handouts given out at immigration forums free of charge.”
Davila said the $200 for his cards was also an “initial payment” for representation by A New Beginning for Immigrant’s Rights, which was legitimately accredited by the Department of Justice Board of Immigration Appeals to represent people in immigration cases.
The non-profit’s federal status is currently under review.