Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another take on the REAL ID...

If you read my blogs regularly you'll remember one from a few days ago about the REAL ID. If you missed it, scroll down on the right and you'll find it. Here's another viewpoint from the Libertarian Party:

No license to license
The federal government needs to get real with the Real ID Act

Quick Quotes:
Shane Cory, Executive Director, Libertarian Party
• "The federal government can prattle all it wants about the benefits of a license that meets federal standards, but the states don't recognize the right of the federal government to tell them how to issue their licenses."

Bob Barr, Board Member, Libertarian National Committee
• "The massive database that would be created by the Real ID Act, containing all manner of private information on citizens, is potentially one of the most privacy-invasive laws in the history of our country."

Andrew Davis, National Media Coordinator, Libertarian Party
• "[Chertoff] fails to understand that while Americans want their privacy protected, they want it protected from the government. Giving the government greater access to our information is what Americans are against."

Washington, D.C. - While Friday's press conference with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff outlined new steps towards implementing federally mandated requirements for state-issued driver's licenses, the Libertarian Party is calling to scrap the program altogether. "It's time for the federal government to get real with the Real ID," says Libertarian Party Executive Director, Shane Cory.

"The program is an unmitigated disaster," says Cory, "and one the federal government fails to recognize. The federal government can prattle all it wants about the benefits of a license that meets federal standards, but the states don't recognize the right of the federal government to tell them how to issue their licenses. It's a states' rights issue as much as it is a privacy issue."

The Real ID Act imposes costly federal mandates for procedures used by states in issuing driver's licenses. Despite the mandates, Congress provides no funding for implementation, leaving the states fully responsible for the expenses.

So far, 17 states have passed laws or resolutions rejecting the Real ID Act mandates imposed by DHS. These states include Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington. Twenty-one other states have either introduced legislation or had legislation pass in one chamber opposing the Real ID.

"Anything less than scrapping this offensive national identification card law is unacceptable," said former Congressman and current Libertarian National Committee board member Bob Barr while applauding the decision by DHS to further delay implementation of the Real ID Act. "The massive database that would be created by the Real ID Act, containing all manner of private information on citizens, is potentially one of the most privacy-invasive laws in the history of our country."

"Chertoff does not speak for most Americans like he says," says Andrew Davis, national media coordinator for the Libertarian Party. "He fails to understand that while Americans want their privacy protected, they want it protected from the government. Giving the government greater access to our information is what Americans are against."

The Libertarian Party believes the Real ID act is unconstitutional because it violates the Tenth Amendment, which delegates powers such as driver's licensing to the states. The LP also feels the Real ID act is an intrusion of a citizen's right to privacy from the government, and does little to prevent terrorism or illegal immigration--two of the chief justifications used by the Department of Homeland Security.

"What seems like a more plausible outcome of the Real ID?" asks Cory. "A terrorist attack is thwarted because the attacker can't get a fake ID, or Americans are exposed to increased identity theft and privacy risks?"

The Libertarian Party is America's third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.lp.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

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