The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) praised 13 states on Dec. 20 for complying with the standards for national driver’s licenses and identification cards outlined in the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Brent Daggett, writing for End the Lie, noted that the REAL ID Act could make Americans feel like prisoners within the United States itself and he is not alone in his criticism.
Indeed, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has stated that the REAL ID has few benefits and staggering costs while also noting that the regulations themselves are deeply flawed.
The DHS claims that REAL ID implementation is critical for maintaining national security, a claim which is patently absurd given they have waived the screening process for chemical plant employees, allowed airport employees to work without background checks and even somehow allowed illegal immigrants to work as supervisors in airports for two decades undetected.
Furthermore, the fact that an 82-year-old nun and others can literally walk onto what is supposedly the Fort Knox of uranium without being detected or arrested for quite some time should indicate to us that the government really doesn’t care about security.
This should indicate, at least to the remotely logical mind, that terrorism really isn’t the threat it is being made out to be.
While the REAL ID Act was, at first, supposed to become effective in May of 2008, the Obama administration announced in 2011 “that it is moving the May 11 deadline for implementation of the Real ID Act to January 15, 2013, so that cash-strapped states will have more time to add security features to driver’s licenses and ensure that license holders are who they say they are,” as CNN reported.
That delay was just one of many since it was signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2005 with individual states like Virginia getting previous extensions as well.
Government Security News Magazine reports that the remaining states that have not complied with the REAL ID standards will “get extensions to do so come January 15.” However, the Jan. 15, 2013 deadline is actually when the Act itself is supposed to be implemented.
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla called this date unrealistic in a statement to local news outlet KRQE.
“They’re still saying Real ID is a reality,” said Padilla. “It’s just not a reality on Jan. 15th."
The DHS noted that “Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, met the REAL ID Act of 2005 standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards” already, according to Government Security News Magazine.
In their Dec. 20 statement, DHS complimented the above states for “the substantial progress in working toward these goals and the improvements in security for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards since 9/11.”
However, some other states may actually already be in compliance with the standards since they noted that the other states simply “haven’t provided enough information for it to determine if they meet the act’s requirements.”
Homeland Security has granted a temporary extension to the other states and territories that have not provided the information required for the DHS’s determination. They added that they would receive and review submissions from states on a rolling basis.
“Many states have objected to the law, saying it is too costly and could tangle their motor vehicle departments with extra work, including lengthy background checks on all drivers’ license applicants, and that it carried some privacy rights concerns,” noted Government Security News Magazine.
Indeed, in a 2006 report (PDF of report here) compiled from surveys conducted by the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the costs were projected to be over $11 billion in the first five years alone.
There has also been a lot of opposition within state legislatures and groups ranging across the entirety of the political spectrum from the National Governors Association to the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to the Cato Institute to the American Center for Law and Justice to the National Organization for Women to Gun Owners of America and more.
If states have not complied with the requirements by the January deadline, the DHS has stated that a temporary deferment will be issued in order to allow “federal agencies to continue to accept their licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial aircraft, access to federal facilities, and entering nuclear power plants.”
DHS has also stated that they would “consult with states and stakeholders in the coming weeks and months to develop a schedule for the phased enforcement of the Act’s statutory prohibitions to ensure that residents of all states are treated fairly,” according to Government Security News Magazine.
“DHS will, in consultation with States and stakeholders, develop a schedule for the phased enforcement of the Act’s statutory prohibitions to ensure that residents of all states are treated in a fair manner,” according to the DHS.
“DHS expects to publish a schedule by early fall 2013 and begin implementation at a suitable date thereafter,” the department added, according to PJ Media.
This reads like an indefinite extension, although when David Heyman, DHS Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on March 21, he claimed that the DHS has “no plans to extend the deadline.”
I guess we will find out how true this is come January.
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This article first appeared at End the Lie.
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com
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