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.


Rational Jenn said...

Voluntary. I like that. I think it's complete blackmail. It will do NOTHING to keep us safer, it will cost loads of money, it will unfortunately give many people the impression that their Representatives actually did something to protect them (thereby increasing the chances of re-election), and it will get the Feds one step closer to a national id with a consolidated database of information about every citizen, even those of us who are law-abiding and non-threatening.

Voluntary. Hmph.

And I read in the Los Angeles Times that citizens of states that are opposing the Real ID (like my state Georgia) will feel the downside effects of noncompliance as early as this spring.

I can't think of a single way this Real ID will protect me and my family.

cttaxed said...

Just build the wall between the US and Mexico. That is all that is needed.

America was the land of second chances and of new dreams. When we are tracked from day one till the last of our days we will have lost something very magical, the ability to be re-born, to shed our skins and start anew.

Think RealID is bad? Wait till you see RFIDs!

Kristina said...

I have a question. I really don't understand this, so any light you can shed would be wonderful.

What is so bad about a nationalized ID? You already have to have an ID to get on a plane, enter federal buildings, and nuclear sites. Why is a national ID so much worse than a state ID?

Is it because the federal government is taking over in areas where the state is supposed to have rights? Is it because it is not the job of the federal government? Or is it a case of big brother? I'm really confused.
Thank you.

Judy Aron said...

Kristina - Please take a moment and read Ron Paul's full speech (the link is in the blog post). There are many reasons why a federal ID is a bad idea, plus if we already have different forms of ID like passports, driver's licenses, birth certificates etc then those should be sufficient as identification. The point is that it will not do anything to keep us safer, or catch terrorists or illegal aliens.
Read Ron Paul's speech.

sunniemom said...

It always cracks me up when legislators make more laws in an attempt to discourage or detect law-breakers. The only folks who are going to observe laws are the law-abiding citizens.

Our current forms of ID are perfectly adequate- law enforcement agencies just don't want to actually enforce laws already on the books, and dropkick anyone's behind into jail or back to their own country.

I love those signs on stores that say "Gun Free Zone"- its like a beacon for thieves "Rob me! Rob me!"

Susan said...

Hi Judy,

I put the letters I received from my IL senators on Corn and Oil.

I think a short summary would read that their hands were tied. yadayada...How Representative Paul's hands haven't been tied all these years....I dunno.

Irdial said...

First of all, there is no such thing as 'Nationalized ID' There IS such a thing as a 'National ID Card' however.

Please read this post which is an excellent primer on ID cards, and why they are so bad.

Your point about having to show them to get on a plane is interesting. There was a time in the USA where all you had to do is turn up and pay to get on a plane. I did it many times; getting on a plane is no different to getting on a bus, and no, 'everything has not changed since 911'. I do not know what you mean by 'State ID' if you are talking about a drivers licence, that documents purpose is to show that you are competent and trained to operate a vehicle, nothing more. The state has no right or obligation to identify you or to vouch for your identity when you transact with another person or a company.

YES it really is a case of 'Big Brother' as you will see from that link.

Americans really must wake up and understand that they have rights, what the nature of those rights are, and that the world and those rights do not suddenly disappear because there is a disaster or accident or criminal attack.

Your icon shows that you have children. Do you really want them to grow up in a USA where everyone is chipped, or has to show ID to do anything and everything? Do you want them to say, "well, they control everything else in my life, why not let them control it all?". Essentially, that is what you are saying with your 'we have to show ID to get on a plane' argument.

I really hope that you get a chance to read the materials that have been put before you so that you can understand what this is all about. It is a central part of your freedom not to be compelled to carry government issued ID; when you lose that freedom, you will understand what you have lost only when it is too late.

Susan said...

A couple of other things...federal and state (our State-IL) has had matching legislation for matching federal grant monies (taxes) that included inter-agency networking and sharing of information.

They (our government, paid representatives...) really don't make any bones about wanting information about every one of us. Every one.

Most individuals will be required to present Real ID-verified identification for boarding .... and entering nuclear power plants before the end of 2014.

I can say from my observations as a spouse of a nuclear operations employee that Real-ID seems specifically not necessary in nuclear power plants. The security is truly tight and has been since 911. It wasn't too shabby before either. The sites resemble prisons and security personnel are extremely well trained.

I hope I would never have to eat those words, but nuclear power plants aren't a problem and weren't a problem in 2001. The Pentagon was though.

Usually businesses and private folk get things in order quickly when shown to be necessary. Survival is key.
But in the US now, bureaucracy never ends. Apparently our legislators are counting on that.

Kristina said...

Okay, so I know this is really late for me to come back to this, but I wanted to make clear my thoughts.

I think that the reason I don't have an overt problem with the idea of a national ID Card is because I have had what is basically just that since I was 17 and joined the military. Since then, I have not lived a day without some type of military ID. My oldest son now has one. They have to have them starting at age 10.

While I don't think that a person should have to have an ID, I understand the need to be able to identify yourself. I think it would be great if we still lived in a world where my next door neighbor could say that he's known me all my life and can testify to who I am. I also wish that people were honest enough for me to be able to take them at their word.

However, I would really prefer for terrorists to not be getting on the same plane as I am. I'm not sure how showing someone my ID is going to help with that, but it doesn't bug me.

I do think, though, that the federal government has no business getting into this. The only business the federal government has is in protecting the country. I don't see that this is going to do it.

It just doesn't bug me (as far as the concept of big brother). Again, I think because of the fact that I already have an ID and can be pretty much tracked anywhere through my husband, whose ID has his entire life's story on a computer chip embedded on it.

Anonymous said...

If the real id is "what the people want"Why did we not have a say so about it? I don't like to be "forced" to do anything,I thought we were free as Americans.
It's funny how people don't notice when history starts to repeat itself.Your papers please,oh wait Your card please!