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Aug 15, 2005
Congress Takes Measures to Restrict Driversí Licenses
- Atty. Robert Reeves Email this article

The ill-conceived measures of REAL-ID have been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush.  Many of the provisions of REAL-ID are identical to the same provisions that were highly criticized by the White House and subsequently dropped from the military appropriations and anti-terrorism bill that was passed by Congress a mere five months ago. 

 

The only discernible basis for the complete reversal of the Presidentís conviction that these provisions are bad policy for the U.S. and irrelevant to the war on terrorism is the elapsing of a few months. 

 

The earlier bill enacted several of the recommendations of the 911 Commission aimed at real progress in the war against terrorism, and designed to make concrete steps to protect the American people at home from terrorist attacks. 

 

REAL-ID not only takes steps to negate the efficacy of those provisions by encouraging the growth of an illegal, underground population of people who live in the U.S. outside the notice of the government, but also scapegoats immigrants as being part of the terrorist problem, and inadvertently facilitates and legitimizes the continued persecution and tyranny carried out upon innocents by unjust totalitarian, military, and theocratic dictatorships around the world. 

Further, and perhaps most disturbing, REAL-ID deals a major blow to the U.S.ís long-treasured democratic commitment to being a safe haven for legitimate asylum seekers.  And rather than resulting from careful consideration by government leaders, all this has been accomplished through clandestine meetings, suspicious closed door sessions, and pressured, rushed voting with virtually no actual debate or discussion on the floor in a nefarious Congressional game of hide-the-shell where paranoid, xenophobic prejudices toward immigrants holds sway over reason and deliberation. 

 

Due to the importance and far-reaching effects that REAL-ID will have on immigration law, a subsequent article will discuss significant revisions of asylum law.

 

REAL-ID imposes burdensome and costly requirements on states designed to prevent the issuance of driversí licenses to millions of immigrants (and all U.S. citizens) who cannot present acceptable identification and proof of legal status. 

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