UPDATE (3/24/11): On March 4, 2011, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano extended by 20 months (to January 15, 2013) the May 10, 2011 deadline for states to be in full compliance with the Real ID. (H/t reader Michael Scott)
Gee, I wonder why the extension? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because of the publicity given this issue and the resultant popular outrage? Sunlight really is the best disinfectant!
UPDATE (3/1/2011): The National ID card will go into effect in 2 months! Tell the GOP-dominated House of Representatives to stop this.
Beginning in May this year, Obama’s Dept of Homeland Security will put into effect the Real I.D. requirement.
On May 11, 2005, exploiting Americans’ fear of terrorism after 9/11, Congress and the Bush administration enacted the Real I.D. Act in the name of security.
So what’s Real I.D.? Put simply, it’s an effective National ID card.
All 50 constituent States in America will be required to federalize their driver’s licenses, i.e., make them conform to national federal standards. Even non-drivers will be issued an ID card, thereby putting the lie to Real ID being just a driver’s license. That ID card will contain all sorts of information on you. In addition to the birthdate and address on your driver’s license now, the new ID card will also include your social security number, proof of citizenship, immigration status, and heaven knows what else. And all this information will be put into a national database, accessible and shared by the 50 state authorities.
So maybe you’re thinking: Good! This will finally combat the illegal immigration problem!
My question is “At what cost?” We already have federal immigration laws concerning illegal aliens — laws that the federal government refuses to enforce and, in so doing, allowing the illegal immigration problem to fester and grow ever larger, like a huge pus-filled boil on the U.S. body politic. Having created the problem, the federal government now comes to us with this offer: “Here’s the solution! It’s the privacy-invading Real ID!”
Nor do I believe even for a moment that the Real ID will be an effective tool against illegal immigration. If we allow this Real ID to become real, it will be a Faustian bargain we’ll bitterly regret.
H/t beloved fellow Tina.
From the United States Justice Foundation:
Shortly, all 50 States, under the directive of the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security, will be required to federalize their driver’s licenses, effectively converting what was a uniquely, “local” state drivers’ license into what amounts to a “National ID Card”—or, as some opponents to the concept during the Clinton years called it, “a United States Internal Passport.”
REAL I.D. was enacted in 2005, to make it more difficult for people who are not citizens, to secure a state-issued driver’s license. The law takes effect in May, 2011. At that time, every State will be required to create a drivers’ license that conforms to new federal “standards.”
In short: REAL I.D. allows the government to convert your state issued drivers’ license into a…Nazi/Communist-style National Identification Card, with all the scary attributes of an Internal Passport like people in Nazi/Communist-Europe were required to carry.
When did that happen here? It happened in 2005, when you were more concerned about terrorists than civil liberties. Congress passed the Real ID Act on May 11, 2005, which created new bio-metric national standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses. The new law also requires those who do not drive to have a state-issued “non-driver” ID card.
Not just the federal government, but states will be able to quickly (at a moment’s notice!) share 18 different points of private information about you, personally.
The controversial 2005 bill designed to create national standards for driver’s licenses is doing far more than that, according to a report released last week by the Center for Immigration Studies. The report, authored by Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Policy at CIS, offered an update on the implementation status of the Real ID Act in each state. The results were frightening. “Real ID is alive and well and it is being implemented,” Kephart said. Most states are already compliant well before the deadline. Personal data about you has already been taken and it has been stored in a dossier about you.
…the impetus for REAL ID stemmed from recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, although the standards established by the 9/11 Commission have already been repealed. REAL ID requires State driver’s license authorities to use more stringent measures to verify Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, proof of citizenship and immigration status. The act prescribes 18 separate security controls that States are now required to use when issuing driver’s licenses.
And this information will be available to law enforcement officials in all other States. If you were stopped in any State for speeding, the police in that State can “read” the database assigned to your card and virtually “share your information” over the Internet with any other government agency in any state. The presumptions of “unreasonable search” are gone forever, since any semblance of real privacy ceases to exist when REAL ID goes into effect.
In addition to some First Amendment concerns, the REAL ID Act violates the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, because driver’s license, as such, should come under state laws, not the laws of the federal government. It violates the Tenth Amendment in reference to state powers and obliterates the states’ dual sovereignty with the federal government.
… they are consolidating every piece of information about every American into a universal federal database, you are now much more vulnerable to identity thieves. How many times have you recently read about hackers stealing information on thousands of people from credit card company databases? Now, ALL OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL BE AT RISK!
The REAL ID Act implementation will make it much easier for the federal government to track every American—which is the purpose for it under the REAL ID Act. This is an outright invasion of your privacy. You must tell your Member of Congress this. We need to make sure that those in Congress understand that you object to government having more information than they absolutely need to know to tax you, or to send you a check. Anything else is not their business. We must do everything that we can to invalidate the May 11, 2011 “peeper deadline,” when the Department of Homeland Security and the Commerce Department will begin to amass a database on every American, something that they were previously forbidden from legally having.
Eventually, READ ID-compliant cards will be REQUIRED for air travel, access to federal buildings, and e
ven for receiving federal benefits, such as Social Security. A Federal agency will not be able to accept, for any official purpose, a driver’s license or identification card issued by any state to any person, unless the state is meeting the requirements specified in the REAL ID Act.
Before a REAL ID can be issued, the applicant must provide the following documentation:
1. A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes his or her full legal name and birth date
2. Documentation of birth date
3. Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
4. Documentation showing name and principal residence address.
Digital images of each identity document will be stored in each State Department of Motor Vehicles database. And, according to some opponents of REAL ID, this is only the beginning of the information and documentation that the state governments will be required to obtain and to put on the card!
The Department of Homeland Security claims this cannot be construed as a “National ID Card,” because the cards are issued by the states. However, the national READ ID law establishes NATIONAL STANDARDS that the states must adhere to. So, when you hear the rhetoric, it is just that—rhetoric. It’s federal government “double-talk.” Please help us stop this federal intrusion into your privacy right now.
The liberal American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland says: “The law places no limits on potential required uses for Real IDs.” In time, Real IDs could be required to vote, collect a Social Security check, access Medicaid, open a bank account, go to an Orioles game, or buy a gun. The private sector could begin mandating a Real ID to perform countless commercial and financial activities, such as renting a DVD or buying car insurance. Ultimately, just as Social Security Cards were never supposed to be used for ID purposes, Real ID drivers’ license will, very quickly, become de facto national ID cards, which is why people who don’t drive will still need to carry one.
The “machine-readable technology,” as required by REAL ID, would convert state-issued driver licenses and identification cards into TRACKING DEVICES, allowing computers to pinpoint and record people’s whereabouts anytime that they are identified. Under REAL ID, all state drivers’ license databases will be linked. This will allow information in a person’s ID database in any state to be accessible by officials in any other State, or by the federal government.
In 1998 the Clinton Administration tested such a privately-funded card without the consent or knowledge of Congress. Their card was part of a special healthcare program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program was initated in five western States and entailed giving women with dependent children free healthcare in the pilot project that actually tested the effectiveness of the biometric cards, which electronically monitored the whereabouts of the cardholder 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by GPS. The test lasted one year. It was deemed to be a success. Our federal government does have the ability, and the desire, to track the whereabouts of its human capital while they work, when they play, and where they sleep. REAL ID, in other words, is REAL Intrusive.
If you want US Justice Foundation to send a fax to your reps in D.C., for a fee, CLICK HERE.