Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The ACLU on "Real I.D."

Here is the press release from the ACLU on the "Real I.D.:"

Congressional conferees have reportedly agreed on an appropriations bill to fund military operations, and attached the controversial Real ID Act to the bill. The Real ID Act will therefore likely be enacted without being scrutinized by any hearings or debate. The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its disappointment that the final measure includes this sweeping legislation that rolls back asylum laws, attacks immigrants and sets the stage for
a national ID. The House is expected to vote on the underlying measure this week; the Senate is expected to vote next week.
The following can be attributed to Timothy Sparapani, an ACLU Legislative Counsel:
"The Real ID Act was sold as an illegal-immigration fix bill, when in fact it reduces every American's freedom. The provisions of this bill could not have passed on their own. Sadly, their inclusion in a 'mustpass' bill means that immigrants and citizens alike will face an unnecessary loss of freedom and privacy."
"The federalization of drivers' licenses, and the culling of all information into massive databases, creates a system ripe for identity theft. New standards could place our most private information - including photographs, address and social security numbers - into the hands of identity thieves. Worse still, an independent commission is currently studying the issue of license security, and, if enacted, Real ID would undermine their efforts."
"The Real ID Act would also unnecessarily harm immigrants. Some asylum seekers will be forced to produce written corroboration of their persecution from those who persecuted them. The act would also eliminate, in some cases, the right of habeas corpusas an avenue for court review for the first time since the Civil War. Such an overhaul of immigration laws shouldn't be slipped into a funding bill for the military."

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