Friday, January 18, 2008

How Much Will Real ID Really Cost Your State? Your Liberty?

Real ID is back in the news as it is reported that Real ID will require states to ask license applicants for proof of citizenship and residency, instead of the typical date of birth and Social Security number. States will also have to work together to make certain the applicants don't obtain multiple licenses, and they'll need to add security features into the license design to help stop counterfeiting. Most individuals will be required to present Real ID-verified identification for boarding commercial airline flights, using federal facilities and entering nuclear power plants before the end of 2014.

This standardized "Papers Please" mentality is not going to stop illegals and it isn't going to stop terrorism. It is a false security measure that will in the end lead to the further erosion of civil liberties at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
"It is unfortunate that instead of addressing the fundamental problems this law poses for the states, the [Bush] administration appears content merely to prolong a contentious and unproductive battle to force the states to comply," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in a statement this morning."Rather than improved security, this course will result in resentment, litigation and enormous costs that states will be forced to absorb."
Congressman Ron Paul, R-TX, (and every American should read the whole speech) said this:
I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 418, the REAL ID Act. This bill purports to make us safer from terrorists who may sneak into the United States, and from other illegal immigrants. While I agree that these issues are of vital importance, this bill will do very little to make us more secure. It will not address our real vulnerabilities. It will, however, make us much less free. In reality, this bill is a Trojan horse. It pretends to offer desperately needed border control in order to stampede Americans into sacrificing what is uniquely American: our constitutionally protected liberty….

Supporters claim it is not a national ID because it is voluntary. However, any state that opts out will automatically make non-persons out of its citizens. The citizens of that state will be unable to have any dealings with the federal government because their ID will not be accepted. They will not be able to fly or to take a train. In essence, in the eyes of the federal government they will cease to exist. It is absurd to call this voluntary….
So how did your congressman and senators vote on this program? and what's it going to cost YOUR state to implement? (Hint: "Real ID will cost the states $11 billion over five years," said a speaker in the Senate Judicial Committee.)
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, legislative bodies in 21 states have passed legislation opposing Real ID, and six states prohibit compliance with the plan by statute.

Fifteen states' lawmaking entities passed resolutions urging Congress to amend or repeal Real ID or otherwise indicated the state's intention of noncompliance with the program.
Chertoff claims that the people want this - somehow I don't think so, and I will be willing to bet that our government won't be doing anything anytime soon to really address the issues of what will make us safer.. like border security and adhering to the laws which we already have in place.
The Real ID Act started off as H.R. 418, which passed the House[1] and went stagnant. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R) of Wisconsin, the author of the original Real ID Act, then attached it as a rider on a military spending bill (H.R. 1268). The House of Representatives passed that spending bill with the Real ID rider 368-58,[2] and the Senate passed the joint House-Senate conference report on that bill 100-0.[3] There was no debate whatsoever on this piece of legislation. President Bush signed it into law on May 11, 2005.[4]

Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington have joined Maine in passing legislation opposing Real ID.[17][18][19][20][21]

Similar bills are pending in Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.[22]

Other states have moved aggressively to upgrade their IDs since 9/11, and still others have staked decidedly pro-Real ID positions, such as California,[23] North Carolina,[24] . In announcing the new regulations, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff cited California, Alabama and North Dakota[25] as examples of states that had made progress in complying with Real ID.

New York's new policy of issuing driver's licenses to undocumented residents upon presentation of a valid foreign passport goes against the requirements for documentation of legal status and a valid Social Security Number. (wikipedia)
Papers can be forged and obtained illegally - we will be no safer.

Thank goodness our State legislatures are fighting this idiocy. If Congress had it's way there would be a Real ID in every pocket and a chip in every arm. That's where we are headed.

So how is this any different then the Nazi style arm tattoos? None. Only the technology is different. The concept is the same.