REAL ID: gearing up for implementation
by Anne Wilder-Chamberlain
On December 18, 2009, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Press Secretary Matt Chandler released this statement:
“Efforts to Enhance Driver’s License Security:”
“A large majority of states and territories—46 of 56—have informed DHS that they will not be able to meet the Dec. 31 REAL ID material compliance deadline. …the National Governors Association has said the states have made tremendous progress in driver’s license security but simply cannot fulfill the requirements of REAL ID. That’s why Secretary Napolitano has supported the efforts of Governors and Congress to enact PASS ID, which puts states on the path to implementing national standards for identification documents…
“…DHS is extending the Dec. 31 REAL ID material compliance deadline. The May 10, 2011, deadline for full compliance remains in effect… Congress must act to address systemic problems with the REAL ID Act to advance our security interests over the long term. DHS is committed to moving forward to implement this key 9/11 Commission recommendation—just last week, the Department announced the availability of $48 million to states for the Drivers License Security Grant Program, to help prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents.”
Then in March, Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) added a biometric national ID card requirement to their Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, which is apparently hiding in committee like last summer’s more horrendous bills. But according to Infowars.com and the American Free Press, immigrants won’t have to have this ID because they are already in the country illegally and working under the table, and are not required to have a driver’s license. Only law-abiding American citizens will be forced to have an ID with their fingerprints and later, retinal scan, blood type, and, if Obamacare goes into effect, medical and genetic information embedded in it in order to get a job.
Enhanced Driver’s License
“Under the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), an enhanced driver’s license (EDL)/enhanced identification card (EIC) is an acceptable document to present when entering the United States by land and water.
“The EDL/EIC is not a national identity card. An EDL is a secure driver’s license that denotes a person’s identity and citizenship and is issued by certain provinces and U.S. states. The objective is to provide Canadian and American citizens with a convenient option that allows for spontaneous travel across the shared border. The EIC offers the same advantages as an EDL for those holders who do not drive.” (Source: cbsa-asfc.gc.ca )
The following states are issuing this type of WHTI-compliant document: Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington. The Canadian states of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and British Columbia have also jumped on board. It is interesting to note that three of the four REAL ID compliant state governors have been chosen for Obama’s ten regional Homeland Security Dictators.
WorldNetDaily (WND) reprinted a 2009 report from Bob Unruh that said, “Washington state’s enhanced driver’s license privacy advocates are issuing warnings about a new radio chip plan that ultimately could provide electronic identification for every adult in the U.S. and allow agents to compile attendance lists at anti-government rallies simply by walking through the assembly. The proposal, which has earned the support of Janet Napolitano, the newly chosen chief of the Department of Homeland Security, would embed radio chips in driver’s licenses, or ‘enhanced driver’s licenses.’”
The REAL ID plan for a standardized federal identification system so alarmed governors that many states have adopted formal plans to oppose it. However, radio talk show host and RFID chip expert Katherine Albrecht (www.spychips.org) told WND that the EDLs are many times worse. “Enhanced driver’s licenses have built-in radio chips providing an identifying number or information that can be accessed by a remote reading unit while the license is inside a wallet or purse.” The technology already has been promoted in Washington State as an alternative to a passport for traveling to Canada. So far, the program is optional, she said. But there are other agreements already approved in Michigan, Vermont, New York and Arizona, and plans are under way in other states, including Texas.
Albrecht said a hint of what is on the agenda was provided by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state’s legislature voted to ban the government from using any RFID chips in any ID documentation. Schwarzenegger vetoed it, claiming he did not want to interfere with any coming or future federal programs for identifying people. Michigan State Rep. Paul Opsommer said the government appears to be using a national “anti-terrorism” plan requiring people to document their identities as they enter the United States to promote the technology. “We are close to the point now that if you don’t want RFID in any of your documents then you can’t leave the country or get back into it,” he said.