Sometimes well-intended efforts can't help but bite you in the butt.
This probably makes me a bad person, but how can I not take satisfaction in how Jim Kenney and Maria Quinones-Sanchez, the biggest coddlers of illegal immigrants on City Council, have just been mouse-trapped by other supporters and enablers of Those Who Are Here Illegally.
Some prefer the term "people without documentation," but that's not precise as they have other forms of documents, which might be their own birth certificates or someone else's Social Security number.
"Undocumented workers" isn't right either, because they're not all workers. Some are children, enrolled in our schools, schools that are forbidden to inquire about citizenship status. Same with hospitals. Food stamps for kids, too.
Here's what happened: Amidst a bunch of corrective legislation sponsored by Kenney to make it harder for the untrained and unskilled to handle construction, there's a requirement that workers acquire a special photo ID card from License & Inspections to prove the holder completed a 10-hour course on construction safety.
The idea is to heighten safety and reduce unscrupulous contractors.
Not a bad idea. That's what I think.
But that's not what Erika Almiron thinks. She's the executive director of Juntos, an (illegal) immigrant-rights group. She worries the ID requirement will create obstacles for undocumented laborers.
You mean it might create a barrier between those here illegally and the jobs "Americans don't want to do"?
Yes, it might – and we don't want that. (Sarcasm.)
A week earlier, Quionines-Sanchez introduced legislation to allow the city to issue municipal ID cards that could be used as proof of residency.
This is particularly funny to me because this year the debt-ridden city ceased issuing press ID to journalists.
Why in the world would any citizen need municipal ID?
No citizen would.
This is designed to help those here illegally – and enjoying city services – integrate into the communities they have populated without invitation.
But, as City Paper reports, the Councilwoman "may also be fearful of blowback from constituents who might be unable to apply for worker ID."
Because they are here illegally.
In that case, are they "constituents?" Quinones-Sanchez thinks so, which is better than the Russians regard Edward Snowden, who was at least an invited guest.
This is irony. In her effort to do a favor to those here illegally, they fear exposure to authorities.
It's kind of a Catch-22 but a hollow worry. The city has no interest in rounding them up and deporting them, except the small number that are criminal.
And that's OK with me, as I've said before.
And as I've also said before, I also have no interest in making them cozy here after they have disrespected our sovereignty.
Good luck to Jim and Maria in sorting this one out.