Real Victory Against REAL ID

Jim Babka reports that budget bill H.R. 3082 rescinds funding for implementing the “hub” for REAL ID data collection. If this passes (which it presumably will), it will be a major victory for privacy rights advocates, but it falls short of repealing REAL ID.

Jim Babka writes:

  • REAL ID assumes I am a foreign terrorist or illegal immigrant, and that I must “prove” my innocence
  • I am punished with higher fees, more red tape, and longer DMV lines
  • And my private information will be centralized, making me more susceptible to identity theft and other dangers

Furthermore…

  • The REAL ID law still exists as an unconstitutional, unfunded mandate on the cash-strapped states
  • 21 states will still be out of compliance when it is scheduled to take effect in May, 2011 http://www.seattlepi.com/local/431425_realid08.html?source=mypi
  • By de-funding the verification hub, there’s no longer any point in forcing the states to implement REAL ID

This is America, land of the free. It’s not the land of “Your papers, please.”

However, the May 2011 implementation date will likely be pushed back again if REAL ID isn’t repealed. You may recall that REAL ID was to be implemented on January 1, 2010; however the Congress moved that date – possibly to avoid backlash from residents of the States that had not implemented REAL ID. Anyone residing in a State that is not compliant with REAL ID will be forced to provide a passport to enter a federal building, pass through an airport security checkpoint, open a bank account, or hold a job.

After failing as a stand alone bill. REAL ID was passed in 2005 as an amendment to a military spending bill, that Congressional leadership knew would pass with little objection. If REAL ID were to actually be implemented in all 50 States, it would essentially be a national ID. It mandates uniformity among all 50 States regarding issuance of a Driver’s License, which isn’t necessarily an “evil” objective. However, that’s not all. REAL ID also creates a National database of personal information that can be accessed by any Police Department, Law Enforcement Officer and/or Fusion Center anywhere the barcode on the Driver’s License can be scanned. This database of personal information would be controlled by the very people with access, so you will have no say as to what information they keep. This could include not only your driving and/or criminal record, but could potentially include unrelated information such as your medical records, library records and any other host of information that some bureaucrat deems “necessary”. Voting history perhaps? How about party affiliation? If this isn’t stopped before being implemented, not only will millions of American citizens be treated as “foreigners” in this regard, but it only takes two more steps to become Germany’s Third Reich, “Where are your papers? Your papers, please!”

States that have enacted legislation rejecting REAL ID
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah & Washington
http://no2realid.org/id18.html

1 Comment
  1. This is eventually going to fail in the long run, we’re just going to have to keep our eyes peeled for authoritarian abuses of power and resist them at every step though. May a thousand internet bees be stirred up by this reminder of the REAL ID debacle.