Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Public Responds to Real ID at El Paso Senate Committee Meeting


Answers and specifics regarding Texas licenses and immigration related to the Real ID Act will be evaluated at the next Homeland Security and Transportation Senate Committee Meeting, July 9th in El Paso,TX.   Anti-Real ID Committees, like the 5-11 Campaign, along side the ACLU, Sierra Club, No Border Wall Coalition and other invited citizen groups will attend the hearing to present their testimonies regarding Texas licenses, immigration policies and The Real ID Act of 2005.

Senate Chair, John Corona will preside over the meeting held in the El Paso Public Library's auditorium.  The purpose of the meeting is the study of solutions for Texas' current immigration and border securities problems including both human and drug trafficking involving citizen input.

The committee will be discussing plans for Enhanced Drivers Licenses or EDLs, licenses containing personal information on radio frequency id chips (RFID) designed for Americans crossing into U.S., Mexican or Canadian territories. The Texas Department of Public Safety approved the use of RFID chips in EDLs this spring but currently lack fiscal resources to implement the technologies in Texas licenses. A pilot program for the use of EDLs in Texas is on the agenda.

The committee will also be reviewing the effectiveness of a $140 million dollar tax based investment in border law enforcement regulating illegal immigration in a joint charge with the Senate Committee on International Relations and trade.  Other issues affecting US-Mexican immigration and border security touch upon the mandate of a border wall fence complying with the Real ID Act of 2005. 

The border fence is at the center of Texas controversies with land rights management and immigration. Last week the Supreme Court rejected hearing the appeals of a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife over Secretary Chertoff's waiver of 36 federal laws to expedite construction of the border fence.

For more information on the times and location of the Senate meeting click here.

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