Real ID, How it Treats Americans
If you live in a State that is Against Real ID, you will no longer be able to visit your favorite National Park, go into a Federal Building, or board an airplane. This isn’t YOUR fault, and your State is fighting for YOUR privacy. The agency that is SUPPOSED to protect us, the federal government, has made it so we either comply, (papers… show us your papers), or you don’t get the privileges of those who do comply. In other words, the Country that is YOURS isn’t Yours any more. Or so it would seem. I think the Real ID Act needs to be repealed! I’m not alone, many legislators feel the same way.
It is time to let the Congress know what you think, if you think. The federal government is NOT all powerful even if they would love to have you think they are. And this governor who stole the White House? He never earned it, let’s get rid of his smarmy, tw0-bit policies and the crew he rode in with!
It is imperative that we support those States that have decided to stop Real ID in its tracks. If that means we don’t fly, so be it. You can bet the airlines aren’t going to let this go without a fight either. If it means we can’t get into our favorite parks for a while, so be it. When their revenues run out they’ll be begging us to come back. We Have The Power, not the feds.
By Eliott C. McLaughlin
(CNN) — Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says there are no plans for a federal database of drivers’ information.
The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to weave driver’s licenses and state ID cards into a sort of national identification system by May 2008. The law sets baseline criteria for how driver’s licenses will be issued and what information they must contain.
The Department of Homeland Security insists Real ID is an essential weapon in the war on terror, but privacy and civil liberties watchdogs are calling the initiative an overly intrusive measure that smacks of Big Brother.
More than half the nation’s state legislatures have passed or proposed legislation denouncing the plan, and some have penned bills expressly forbidding compliance.
Several states have begun making arrangements for the new requirements — four have passed legislation applauding the measure — but even they may have trouble meeting the act’s deadline.
The cards would be mandatory for all “federal purposes,” which include boarding an airplane or walking into a federal building, nuclear facility or national park, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told the National Conference of State Legislatures last week. Citizens in states that don’t comply with the new rules will have to use passports for federal purposes.
“For terrorists, travel documents are like weapons,” Chertoff said. “We do have a right and an obligation to see that those licenses reflect the identity of the person who’s presenting it.”
Chertoff said the Real ID program is essential to national security because there are presently 8,000 types of identification accepted to enter the United States.
And just HOW is a national ID card supposed to help a border inspector deal with the 8,000 OTHER forms of ID coming INTO this country??? That’s the real question. For while this SOUNDS good, it has NO applicable value when you consider that they are talking about entering the country by foreigners…
“It is simply unreasonable to expect our border inspectors to be able to detect forgeries on documents that range from baptismal certificates from small towns in Texas to cards that purport to reflect citizenship privileges in a province somewhere in Canada,” he said.
Chertoff attended the conference in Boston, Massachusetts, in part to allay states’ concerns, but he had few concrete answers on funding.The Department of Homeland Security, which estimates state and federal costs could reach $23.1 billion over 10 years, is looking for ways to lessen the burden on states, he said. On the recent congressional front, however, Chertoff could point only to an amendment killed in the Senate last month that would’ve provided $300 million for the program.
“There’s going to be an irreducible expense that falls on you, and that’s part of the shared responsibility,” Chertoff told the state legislators.
Bill Walsh, senior legal fellow for the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank that supports the Real ID Act, said states shouldn’t be pushing for more federal dollars because, ultimately, that will mean more federal oversight — and many complaints about cost coincide with complaints about the federal government overstepping its bounds.
“They are only being asked to do what they should’ve already done to protect their citizens,” Walsh said, blaming arcane software and policies at state motor vehicle departments for what he called “a tremendous trafficking in state driver’s licenses.”
The NCSL is calling Real ID an “unfunded mandate” that could cost states up to $14 billion over the next decade, but for which only $40 million has been federally approved. The group is demanding Congress pony up $1 billion for startup costs by year’s end or scrap the proposal altogether.
Everyone must visit DMV by 2013
The Real ID Act repealed a provision in the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act calling for state and federal officials to examine security standards for driver’s licenses.
It called instead for states to begin issuing new federal licenses, lasting no longer than eight years, by May 11, 2008, unless they are granted an extension.
It also requires all 245 million license and state ID holders to visit their local departments of motor vehicles and apply for a Real ID by 2013. Applicants must bring a photo ID, birth certificate, proof of Social Security number and proof of residence, and states must maintain and protect massive databases housing the information.
NCSL spokesman Bill Wyatt said the requirements are “almost physically impossible.” States will have to build new facilities, secure those facilities and shell out for additional equipment and personnel.
Those costs are going to fall back on the American taxpayer, he said. It might be in the form of a new transportation, motor vehicle or gasoline tax. Or you might find it tacked on to your next state tax bill. In Texas, Wyatt said, one official told him that without federal funding, the Lone Star State might have to charge its citizens more than $100 for a license.
“We kind of feel like the way they went about this is backwards,” Wyatt said, explaining that states would have appreciated more input into the process. “Each state has its own unique challenges and these are best addressed at state levels. A one-size-fits-all approach to driver’s licenses doesn’t necessarily work.”
Many states have revolted. The governors of Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington have signed bills refusing to comply with the act. Six others have passed bills and/or resolutions expressing opposition, and 15 have similar legislation pending.
Though the NCSL says most states’ opposition stems from the lack of funding, some states cited other reasons for resisting the initiative.
New Hampshire passed a House bill opposing the program and calling Real ID “contrary and repugnant” to the state and federal constitutions. A Colorado House resolution dismissed Real ID by expressing support for the war on terror but “not at the expense of essential civil rights and liberties of citizens of this country.”
Privacy concerns raised
Colorado and New Hampshire lawmakers are not alone. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation say the IDs and supporting databases — which Chertoff said would eventually be federally interconnected — will infringe on privacy.
EFF says on its Web site that the information in the databases will lay the groundwork for “a wide range of surveillance activities” by government and businesses that “will be able to easily read your private information” because of the bar code required on each card.
The databases will provide a one-stop shop for identity thieves, adds the ACLU on its Web site, and the U.S. “surveillance society” and private sector will have access to the system “for the routine tracking, monitoring and regulation of individuals’ movements and activities.”
The civil liberties watchdog dubs the IDs “internal passports” and claims it wouldn’t be long before office buildings, gas stations, toll booths, subways and buses begin accessing the system.
But Chertoff told legislators last week that DHS has no intention of creating a federal database, and Walsh, of the Heritage Foundation, said the ACLU’s allegations are disingenuous.
States will be permitted to share data only when validating someone’s identity, Walsh said.
“The federal government wouldn’t have any greater access to driver’s license information than it does today,” Walsh said.
States have the right to refuse to comply with the program, he said, and they also have the right to continue issuing IDs and driver’s licenses that don’t meet Real ID requirements.
But, Walsh said, “any state that’s refusing to implement this key recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, and whose state driver’s licenses are as a result used in another terrorist attack, should be held responsible.”
State reaction to Real ID has not been all negative. Four states have passed bills or resolutions expressing approval for the program, and 13 states have similar legislation pending (Several states have pending pieces of legislation both applauding and opposing Real ID).
Chertoff said there would be repercussions for states choosing not to comply.
“This is not a mandate,” Chertoff said. “A state doesn’t have to do this, but if the state doesn’t have — at the end of the day, at the end of the deadline — Real ID-compliant licenses then the state cannot expect that those licenses will be accepted for federal purposes.”
Real ID is a lie. It is an attempt by the federal government to give away your information to whomever they want to. We’ve all seen too many cases of federal abuse of authority, as in FBI illegal spying and data-mining of citizens information via phone, email, library records, medical records, etc. to even begin to trust them now. Too late once trust is gone. dubya should have thought of that sooner!
Let’s remember WHO the Federal Government works for here! They don’t own us! If anything WE OWN THEM! These heavy handed tactics may have worked in Nazi Germany, but this is still the United States of America and when a bad bill is passed it can be repealed! We have the power. The power to call our legislators and DEMAND they take action. The power to go to websites designed to help us with this issue such as:
the real ID is wack fight the real ID…real id psa …
1 min 30 sec
A list of states fighting for your privacy are:
South Carolina–Opposes Real ID but wins an Extension
Montana–Unasked for Extension courtesy DHS
New Hampshire–Unasked for Extension courtesy DHS
California–is thinking of going that way…
Louisiana wants it repealed
Maryland is protesting
Michigan rejects the Real ID Act
Minnesota prohibits compliance
New Mexico- calls for Repeal of Real ID Act
New York- Opposed and wants it repealed
North Dakota Opposed and urging repeal
Ohio Opposed, urges bush and Congress to repeal
Oklahoma Opposes and urges Congress to repeal
Oregon-prohibitions in place for non-compliance with Real ID
Rhode Island-currently has legislation to prohibit Real ID compliance
Tennessee-Opposes Real ID
Texas-refuses to implement Real ID (dubya’s gotta HATE that! LOL)
Utah-calls on Congress to repeal Real ID act
Vermont-Opposes Real ID Act,
Washington DC-City Council Oppose and want Real ID repealed
West Virginia-Urge Congress and dubya to repeal Real ID Act
Wisconsin-Legislators want privacy safeguards in place BEFORE implementing Real ID
Wyoming-Requesting Congress repeal Real ID Act
Pennsylvania- I’m not exactly sure where they stand.
Now, I may have miscounted, but that is 34 out of 50 states that DO NOT want Real ID to take effect. Imagine the impact that will have on airlines?
According to the Constitution, the federal government may NEVER supersede a State Governments Laws. dubya’s administration would LOVE to shove this one down our throats, but he can’t, unless we let him. If you do NOT get on the phone and contact your legislators then you are a fool. This is YOUR COUNTRY after all. Do something about it! ANY Legislator unwilling to go the distance needs to be replaced, PERIOD, end of discussion. We the People of the United States Of America need to take back our Government. This is OUR country and some asswipe from Texas doesn’t get to ruin it for nothing.
I want to see this boy impeached so we don’t have to pay him for the rest of his life or provide security detail for him too. He doesn’t deserve it. He’s a piece of stinking offal that needs to go out with yesterday’s trash! And his whole administration with him! Impeach cheney first so we aren’t left with him at the helm either!