Just like the Jews in Germany during World War II, the REAL ID will give us all a gold star in the corner of our document (but not our arms). Don’t bother telling me it’s not the same thing. I know the history well and unlike many, I don’t forget. I also know that those majorities who do forget history doom us all to repeat it. The REAL ID Act became Public Law 109-13 in May 2005. It became law without Congress voting on the issue of instituting a “REAL ID,” but rather voting to fund our military –– “emergency” legislation. The REAL ID Act was attached to a military spending bill. Before getting into how you receive a REAL ID and what it regulates, you need to know that whatever the form your state’s REAL ID takes, it will have a “chip” in it, “machine-readable technology,” otherwise known as RFID. The REAL ID Acts takes local control of your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue the driver’s license approved by the state, away and does what the federal government tells it to do. If Homeland Security can implement this law, (implementation has been set back numerous times –– but a serious push is on now) the two biggest issues, other than privacy, is your inability to enter federal buildings, nuclear sites, military installations and board commercial airlines. Can’t board a commercial airline? Now that’s serious. One other thing you need to know is that the REAL ID in no way enhances border security, lessens illegal alien crimes or illegal voting. REAL ID CANNOT be used to verify U.S. citizenship, and WILL NOT serve as a Voter ID. While a voter ID is decried as an enormous inconvenience, the REAL ID is plenty convenient, according to DHS.
The Department of Homeland Security is using the 9/11 Commission report to push this agenda, although we know many of the report’s recommendation have not been implemented. The agenda to track us is important to the government, and DHS is alleging that the REAL ID Act will prevent terrorism –– and it will all happen through their secure databases. (I’ll pause a few seconds while you drag yourself off the floor and back into your chair.)
We are told that REAL ID is not the same as a Universal ID, which has been soundly rejected by Americans. EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) has more information on REAL ID than I have found elsewhere, and what they have is in-depth.
In 2008 EPIC wrote that it supported the “Department of Homeland Security in its rejection of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as the machine-readable technology for the REAL ID.”
That was 2008.
This December 2014 EPIC document turns that around and brings us up to 2015 . . . EPIC, supported by a broad coalition, opposed the REAL ID regulations, arguing that many of the required identification techniques, such as facial recognition and RFID tags, compromise privacy and enable surveillance.
In 2007, EPIC published comments on the REAL ID Regulations. Take a look at a few of category titles:
Page 2: Americans Have Consistently Rejected a National ID System
Page 2: REAL ID is not Voluntary
Page12: REAL ID Cards Must Not Denote Citizenship Status
Page 16: DMV Workers Cannot and Should Not Become Immigration officials
Page 29: Official and Unofficial Purposes of REAL ID Must Not Be Increased
Such Federal purposes include entering Federal facilities, boarding commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants, and “any other purposes that the Secretary shall determine,” but the limitation on use to the three enumerated purposes are “for the time being
In other words, in the future, they can impose any restrictions they choose, and we are powerless to do anything about it.
Page 39: Regulations Would Increase National Security Threats:
The theory that REAL ID Act will prevent terrorism is predicated on the belief that only “outsiders” have an intent to harm the United States. This theory is fundamentally flawed. . . . In theory, if we know who you are, and if we have enough information about you, we can somehow predict whether you’re likely to be an evildoer,” . . .This is impossible, because you cannot predict intent based on identifications?”
And REAL ID doesn’t tell us if the ID holder is an American citizen, anyway.
Page 39-40: Centralized Identification System Increases Risk of Identity Theft
DHS stipulates that they will be the theft barrier, the wall to keep out the bad guys. All of our information will be kept in the DHS (government) database. How safe does that make you feel (oh, and it will be shared with EVERY state)?
REAL ID does NOT apply to the following:
Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
Voting or registering to vote
Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
Being licensed by a state to drive
Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations
That is . . . until they change their mind. See Page 29 above.
The CATO Institute has also published frequently on REAL ID. Columnist, Jim Harper, references news stories that are misleading and incorrect. Harper sets the story straight from his point of view: Here are snippets from September 23, 2015:
. . . a report on Business Insider claims: “Residents from 5 US states could soon need a passport for a domestic flight.” The idea is that the Transportation Security Administration will begin to enforce the REAL ID Act in 2016 by denying airport access to travelers from non-compliant states.
It’s not true.
Nobody needs to get a passport to fly domestically. No state needs to implement the REAL ID Act’s national ID mandates.. . .
DHS’s latest story is that it might start to enforce REAL ID in 2016. It won’t.
Contrary to DHS claims, not one state is in compliance with the national ID law. Not one. Some years ago, the department created a whittled down “material compliance checklist,” and it has freely given out deadline extensions to states that make enough of a show that they might go along with the federal government’s plans.
The story now being spun is that TSA will categorically turn away people from a small group of remaining outlier states—if you can actually call New York small—when enforcement starts next year. I am 100% certain they will not. Every state will be out of compliance for the entire year, and the TSA will not implement a policy of refusing travelers from non-compliant states.
The reason for my confidence is a basic understanding of the politics involved. If TSA—perhaps the most despised U.S. federal agency in history—refuses people the right to travel because they do not carry a national ID, the uproar will be intense and lasting. The lawsuits that follow such an action will make their heads spin. And it will all be focused at the federal government: the TSA, the DHS, and the U.S. Congress with its flaccid oversight of the security bureaucracy.. . .
Americans, you don’t have to have a passport to fly domestically. American states, you don’t have to obey federal national ID mandates. America, you don’t need to comply with the REAL ID Act.
On that enlightening note: “America, you don’t need to comply with the REAL ID Act,” my hometown paper had a huge headline today: Oklahoma gets grace period for REAL ID. Isn’t our stinkin’ government just swell? The Tulsa World thinks so. Giving Oklahoma yet another pass as our grace period expires October 15, 2015, how magnanimous. Two Democrat Oklahoma states legislators have filed legislation to bring us into submission compliance.
In a letter dated October 5, 2015, Oklahoma U.S. Congressmen Frank Lucas (R-OK-3rd) and Tom Cole (R-4th) wrote to DHS Secretary, Jeh Johnson. Lucas and Cole acknowledge awareness that DHS “Phase 4” will begin “no earlier than January 1, 2016.” Their main concern is the ability of Oklahomans to board commercial air flights.
My bet is that both Cole and Lucas voted for the Military Funding Act, without balking, even a little bit at the addition of the REAL ID Act. I could dig into it and find their votes, but it’s more than a tad too late, and a waste of time. Too few citizens care that Congress doesn’t know what the hell they’re signing. Again, I found the link to the letter through Mike McCarville at The McCarville Report
A 2007 state law prohibits Oklahoma from complying with REAL ID, which means Oklahomans will have to find alternate means of identifying themselves when and if Stage 4 is implemented.
The best-known alternative is probably a U.S. or foreign passport, but the cost — $110 for most adults — and the four- to six-week waiting period is a deterrent to many people.
Cheaper and easier is the U.S. Passport Card. In addition to identification for domestic flights, it can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.
It cannot, however, be used for international air travel.
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles provides this qualifying information:
On each ID, the following information must be present:
- Full legal name
- Residential address
- Birth date
- Driver’s license/identification card number
- Digital front-facing photograph
There are also new requirements put in place to obtain an ID or license; all applicants must present the following documents during the application process:
- A photo ID, or non-photo ID that contains the applicant’s full legal name and birth date
- Valid birth certificate
- Social Security number
- Proof of legal U.S. citizenship, OR proof of lawful admittance into or temporary residence within the U.S.
Lastly, each state must also agree to share its database of licensed citizens and drivers with all other states, including every piece of data on the cards themselves (name, address, birth date, etc.), along with all driving records and driver histories of everyone licensed to drive in the state.
Whatever my state, or any other state decides, having a real ID (in the true sense of the word ‘real’), as in voter ID, will be left up to the states. My state requires voter identification, but not a photo ID. Any state not requiring a signature, photo and proof of citizenship to vote brings an appalling problem onto the shoulders of its citizenry. States make the laws in this matter, and that’s the way it should be, but when the safest way to protect the vote is considered “unfriendly” and a “burden,” and “partisan,” but the same state allows REAL ID –– well, we know your agenda, don’t we?
Like an “unfriendly” border wall, we will forego our sovereignty in the name of “friends,” just as we do every day in the U.S. Congress when our legislators refer to their “friends across the aisle.” Those times have passed. American sovereignty has no friends across the aisle.
We funded the military, and like magic we had a law that many in Congress didn’t know about, or pay attention too, because, afterall, we can’t not fund the military. We can’t shutdown the government, so Congress ignored the reality of REAL ID and didn’t start paying attention until two years later. As is often the case, the attention they paid is worth nothing. If CATO is right, and states needn’t bother because the means to implemention is impossible, it’s just one more thing that Congress doesn’t know.
One last thought. The REAL ID is for American citizens and those allowed in this country legally. At one time in our recent history, citizenship was required to receive a driver’s license in most states, and such DLs were given to those not citizens but here legally. Today, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Washington, DC give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. These states and D.C. have an illegal migrant population of more than FOUR MILLION combined. Maybe one up-side of REAL ID will be that all illegals will leave my state and flood into these friendly states.
According to the DHS, 70%-80% of all states now have driver’s licenses in compliance with REAL ID. Scroll back up, about mid-way to my really big headline –– they can do anything they want to do, because we let them do it. We have no Defending Fathers.
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