Friday, August 01, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A New Card That Still Can't Be Played by Hizzoner

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With great fanfare, Mayor de Blasio yesterday signed into law a program to create municipal ID cards – something designed largely to help immigrants who are here illegally.

But the devil is in the details. It's not clear, yet, how the program will actually work; how will the cards be issued and who will accept them? Our Grace Rauh points out: "Officials said they have begun talks with banks about accepting the ID, but they did not offer the names of any companies that have agreed to embrace it."

In addition, the New York Civil Liberties Union opposes the program, worried that information provided by applicants could be used against them by law-enforcement agencies.

All of this means that the de Blasio administration has about six months to turn a murky idea into a clear reality. Will undocumented people step out of the shadows for a card that really doesn't do much?

Like his rush to expand pre-K, the mayor is pushing first and asking questions later. It's a tough card to keep on playing in City Hall.

Addendum:

My friends at the MTA had a comment about my column yesterday that cast a critical eye toward Chairman Tom Prendergast's trip to Washington D.C. to talk to Congress about the stalled LIRR contract talks.

I'm told that Prendergast went to the Capitol NOT to actually ask Congress for help – but to show the unions that Congress won't help. If this really was a field trip to show people that Congress won't do anything, he could have just pointed at the recent headlines and saved himself the train fare.

Have a great weekend.


Bob Hardt

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