Thursday, April 3, 2008

LAWSUIT: Residential Beefs May Reach Supreme Court


Brownsville, TX- A class action lawsuit filed by Texas landowners is in the works questioning the constitutionality of a provision of the Real ID Act of 2005. Section 102 of the act gives the discretion to the Secretary of Homeland Security to build border fences and walls while waiving any federal laws that might impede construction.

In a CRS Report to Congress:

“Section 102 of H.R. 418 would amend the current provision to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any law upon determining that a waiver is necessary for the expeditious construction of the border barriers. Additionally, it would prohibit judicial review of a waiver decision or action by the Secretary and bar judicially ordered compensation or injunction or other remedy for damages alleged to result from any such decision or action.”

According to Scott Nicol, spokesperson for the No Border Wall Coalition, homeowners have been informed that their homes may be bulldozed making way for the DHS Border Wall. 2 waivers are pending at the Federal Register that could push aside 36 federal laws protecting the land rights and ownership rules of Brownsville, Texas border residents. Longstanding border management issues are further complicated as some residents’ land titles pre-date Texas borders and extend past the Rio Grande into Mexico.

BTC RADIO REPORTS as heard on We The People Radio Network or :

INN World Radio 4-2-08
PNAC Radio 4-2-08
Spychips 4-2-08

A VERY DIFFICULT ISSUE: Immigration at the borders is an exceptionally complicated issue. I reccomend these documentaries which cover the fine complexities of the immigration issue which cost lives.

John Carlos Frey's The Gatekeeper
The Wall, a developing documentary on The Secure Fence Act

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

MAINE: The Extended Version

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports Maine was the last state given a waiver of extension, bringing the total of 56 U.S. jurisdictions to an exhaustive conclusion over Real ID's extension status. The DHS said the purpose of the extension was to ensure higher security standards for IDs and that all said IDs will continue to be acceptable for official purposes after the May 11, 2008 deadline mandated by Congress in the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The issue of “official purpose” of Real ID's has drawn criticism from the National Conference of State Legislature.

“The first major issue in the REAL ID Act is the definition of “official purpose.” This definition will determine when and where a REAL ID compliant document will be required for admissions to federal facilities, commercial aircraft and other purposes as determined by the DHS Secretary. Because the term is undefined, regulations clarifying “official purpose” could significantly affect the scope of the statute. For example, individuals who do not drive and choose not to obtain an ID card could be prohibited from access to federal buildings, access to post offices, social security offices, or even voting in federal elections depending upon the definition of what constitutes an “official purpose.” The regulations must clarify the definition of official purpose consistent with the underlying legislative intent. Regulations should also establish an official process for allowing state input should the Secretary decide to alter the scope of the definition at a later date." - NCSL

Maine Governor John Baldacci promised legislation to halt Maine’s current practice of issuing licenses to those not lawfully present in the United States and upon heavy handed suggestion participate in the System for Alien Verification Program or (SAVE) by capturing and retaining photographs of individuals applying for a state ID, even if no ID is issued. Security experts like Margaret Stock, Esq. an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have said the removal all of the undocumented out of law enforcement databases could ultimately undermine security

In a statement released by the Maine Civil Liberties Union, Mainers may be asked to participate in a facial recognition surveillance system and to provide proof of legal status. This was one of the DHS demands despite the fact that they have granted waivers to five other states who do not meet this requirement.

“Every other state who has opted out of the REAL ID has received a free pass from the feds in the form of a waiver with few or no conditions,” said Sherri Bellows, MCLU. “The gift from the Department of Homeland Security to Maine is a scarlet-letter license or a two-tiered license system to clearly mark the license as “not for official purposes.”

ACLU Senior legal council, Tim Sparapani declared Maines status a victory saying, "The DHS has accepted a mere promise of legislation to grant a waiver."

Seventeen states have passed resolutions rejecting REAL ID on the terms of it being a national identification card system. The REAL ID law was passed as an amendment to an Iraq War and tsunami relief supplemental spending bill in 2005 with little to no debate.

GIT OFFA MAH LAND!! : Natives and Landowners Sue Feds over Real ID
:::NPR REPORTS:::Borderwalls Plow Through Laws

NEWS from , reports that Real ID provisions extended to The Secure Fence Act has created problems for landowners, environmentalists and Native American’s .

DHS cites the waiver of all laws in their path, in order to plow forward with, "the expeditious construction of barriers and roads”. This has led to a rash of lawsuits from landowners fighting DHS to protect their property rights and land values.

The Sierra Club, who has petitioned the Supreme Court over the livelihood of the ecology stated, “This brazen move by the administration just bolsters our case that this section of the Real ID Act is unconstitutional.”

Both Texas and Arizona state governments have been trampled by DHS’s zeal to throw up border fences to Mexico . The threat treads close to 370 miles of fencing encroaching on National Conservation and traditional Native American lands. DHS is now suing 50 Texas landowners for temporary access while haggling over compensation offered to Arizona landowners as fences are constructed.

The current expense to taxpayers? 85 million awarded to BOEING toward a $76 Billion dollar fence. ::FULL STORY HERE::


Idaho, ruled REAL ID NOT IMPLEMENTED, in legislation last night over H606 , in a developing trend of states who requested Real ID extensions, like Alaska and Arizona but are rejecting federal Real ID driver’s licenses.

According to activist Bill Scannell of the Identity Project , Real ID-or any ID for that matter- is not required to fly in the US based on the Gilmore case decision. The Gilmore Case was cited most recently in letter of contest to Real ID enactments issued by the South Carolina’s Governor's office to DHS Monday. This information will be contrary to DHS rhetoric featured prominently in US airports. The case may come handy as when airport security asks for your ID or passport, you can hand them a copy of the Gilmore decision and ask to pass.

MAINE Beats The Chip until '09

Maine Extension Bid for Real ID Compliance Approved 4-2-08
Assosciated Press c/o

AUGUSTA, Maine—Federal officials on Wednesday granted Maine an extension to comply with Real ID driver's license security requirements after giving the state an extra 48 hours to refine its request.

Maine was the first state to formally reject the federal law, and was the last to be given additional time to comply.

The Homeland Security Department's approval of an extension means that Mainers' drivers licenses will suffice for identification at airports and federal facilities after May 11 and the state's residents won't have to submit to added security checks.

When Monday's deadline arrived for states to ask for compliance extensions, the federal agency cited several shortcomings in Maine's effort and ordered the state to make corrections.
Tops on its list: The DHS wants the state to stop issuing licenses to illegal aliens, a matter that has been particularly contentious in Maine. Unlike most states, Maine requires neither proof of citizenship nor proof of residency from license applicants.

Gov. John Baldacci called the government's demands "reasonable" and said he planned to submit legislation to address all of those shortcomings.

"I have an obligation to make sure that state government acts in the best interest of all the people of Maine," the Democratic governor said in a statement. He added that he would "use the resources at my disposal to make sure they are implemented."

Baldacci said he wants the state to ensure that Maine residents are not penalized because of the state's identification standards, saying, "That's unacceptable to me."

Baldacci said it's time for Maine to enhance the security of its driver's licenses. At least three cases have prosecuted in Maine since 2006 involving illegal aliens procuring state driver's licenses.

The governor submitted a bill Wednesday that seeks to limit state credentials to U.S. citizens or to others who can establish their legal presence in the country.

It also seeks to enroll the state in a system to verify Homeland Security documents presented by non-citizens, and create a policy to make a non-citizen's license expire at the same time as the alien's legal status ends.

The governor wants to make sure no one gets more than one driver's license or state ID.
In addition, Maine would change its driver's license procedure so photographs are taken at the beginning of the process. In that way, images are captured even if applications are not completed in their entirety.

Civil libertarians, who see Real ID as a national identification card as opposed to an anti-terrorism effort, said Baldacci blinked first in the state's stare-down with the federal government.

"The governor is trading constitutional rights for convenience," said Shenna Bellows, executive director of the Maine Civil Liberties Union.

Bellows took the governor to task for seeking "radical changes without due deliberation and serious concern for the full range of consequences for Mainers' privacy and security." She said the federal government's threat to keep Mainers off planes if the state had not secured a waiver was "arbitrary and probably unconstitutional."

The American Civil Liberties Union saw the DHA action in Maine as a victory, said its senior legal council Tim Sparapani. "The DHS has accepted essentially a mere promise of legislation to grant a waiver," he said.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

DHS Jedi Mind Tricks


To celebrate April Fools Day, I decided to write a blog dedicated to DHS's attempted Jedi mind tricks (TM) regarding DHS rulings and state correspondences over Real ID.

Sources too numerous to cite at once and even someone with 8th grade reading skills could discern Real ID was not a "move of the people". All states are playing ball with DHS. Additionally, if you have questions about Real ID compliance you can call Darrell Williams @ (202) 447-3836.

Even so, I bring you a few of the most recent gems:

Mike"You-Know-You-Want-It" Chertoff to South Carolina was reported as such:

"Chertoff responded by saying it is clear South Carolina is on its way to complying so the state would get an extension. Gov. Sanford says he's not opting for an extension, because South Carolina laws passed last year prohibit it. "

Stewart Baker, DHS henchman and member of Officials Against Flying Spaghetti Monsters, sent an extension status letter saying thus:

"..New Hampshire recently awarded a vendor contract starting May 2008 to add security features to it's driver's licenses and identification cards." and "implementing {principal security meansures} by the end of 2009 will position New Hampshire to be materially compliant with the first phase of Real ID implementation. For these reasons, I agree that, under the statute, the State of New Hampshire has met the requirements for an extension. "

In a similar letter to Montana- who initated this letter gauntlet trend on behalf of their citizens -by saying to the Governor, "..I can only provide the relief you are seeking by treating your letter as a request for an extension."

This morning the Maine Governors office had not yielded any additional letters to DHS and DHS has not granted extenstion status yet. Maine is the last state in the throes of this type of State vs. DHS feds standoff.

I have seen various news reports of the DHS getting a terrible reputation for being the US equivalent potentate of Germany's Nazi Gestapo. That may be because bored airport security goons in Lubbock, TX, have nothing better to do than break their own code of process when it comes to a woman with a tricky nipple ring by offering her pliers so she can board her flight. It leads to pointed questions about ID's at airports.

Chertoff has been quoted before as saying of Real ID, " I am convinced that State governments want this very much." Even more carefully Chertoff has been quoted saying that the Real ID Act of 2005, "is a Congressional Mandate." In these terms he deflects citizen distaste back to the Congressional leaders, who ARE truly responsible for voting in this act.

The U.S. has a long contemporary history of slick marketing when it comes to anything passable to a consumer. We have proven time and time again that we will buy ANYTHING, if marketed properly.

Real ID was possibly the overlooked "free" extra bundled with HR 1268 which was passed in majority to provide emergency relief to Tsunami victims and two other benevolent imperialists/dictatorial edicts from the US: the 2005 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and The Global War on Terror. ONE STOP SHOPPING - we can stop global terrorists while providing Tsunami relief to imperiled victims AND get universal compliance for those wacky US individuals.

Yes we have choices: blue or red and the most popular choice from our government presented is some rendition of : shut up, obey and go back to work, taxpayers!

According to Stew Baker, nobody is holding a gun to your head to go get a Real ID. Let's hope it stays that way.

TALK FM: Call In on Spychips and PNAC Radio

CATTLE CALL-IN: Beefing up Real-ID Radio Promotion

Public comment is a poweful thing. Part of the Cross Pollenating power of BeatTheChip's news has been doing weekly news reports on We The People Radio Network. Call your local stations and ask for Real ID news coverage and what is happening in your state.


7PM (CST),Wednesdays, PNAC (Project for a New American Citizen) Radio/WTPRN
The Producers at PNAC Radio have aired Beat The Chip content faithfully for over a month and they kick DHS-derrier!! Special thanks to these guys for their vigilance on the Real ID issue. They certainly are not fans of the idea of being expected to give thumbcans to pay their tuition at the University of Texas.



Potential news of Maine's extension status, national repeal actions and what to expect if Joe Citizen does not cough up an ID to TSA, when people with nipple rings are being bullied with pliers at airport checkpoints.

Maine is the last state in the Union that has not heard from DHS regarding their citizens exemption or their extension status with Real ID. States who did not file extensions could expect airport hassles and being barred from federal buildings such as, postal offices after May 11, 2008 this year. States: ME, NH, MT, and SC, who heavily contested adopting any Real ID measures, issued letters to DHS requesting that their citizens not be penalized for their states stance on Real ID. Those letters were later accepted as extensions granted by DHS for MT, NH and SC. The DHS jury is still out on Maine's letter of contest.

Maine's Governor Baldacci is negotiating with DHS to find terms of compromise so state citizens will not be under penalty after accepting a specialized deadline extension until Wednesday, April 3rd.

NOTE: Maine Rep. Tom Allen, introduced bill HR 1117 to repeal the Real ID Act.

ME Totals Wednesday, SC Beats The Chip 'til '09

South Carolina Beats The Chip, Maine Has More on Wednesday

Maine Gets More Time on Real ID 3-31-07
Associated Presss

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has been given more time to sort out its differences with the government over a new federal identification law.
The deadline had been Monday. Homeland Security Secterary Michael Chertoff set a new deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday to give the state more time to show progress toward meeting Real ID guidelines.
Maine is the only state that failed to meet the original deadline for a waiver or wasn't already working toward meeting the law's requirements.
Residents of states that don't get extensions may be barred from entering federal buildings and boarding airplanes using their current driver's licenses beginning in May.

Defiant South Carolina Wins Real ID Extension 3-31-08
WIRED's Magazine's THREAT LEVEL w/Ryan Singel

Despite blasting a defiant last day letter to the Homeland Security Department over pending federal rules Monday, South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sandford secured South Carolinians the right to use their driver's licenses to board planes without being patted down, at least until 2010.

Despite telling the feds he would not comply with their rules, South Carolina's Republican governor successfully prevented the feds from punishing his states' residents as Homeland Security had promised to do. (AP/Mary Ann Chastain)

Just hours after getting Sanford's jeremiad, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff signed the state's extension (.pdf) personally, writing that "like Montana, your letter sets forth in detail how South Carolina will in fact meet the principal security requirements of Real ID รข€“ as a matter of South Carolina's independent judgment, and not as an act of compliance."

Like other rebellious states, South Carolina rejected Real ID mandates, saying the $4-$20 billion dollar program was an unfunded mandate that invaded citizens' privacy and put them at risk of identity theft due to massive, connected databases of sensitive information.

DHS counters that having current license holders have to get certified documents and reprove their eligibility for identification will prevent terrorism and be useful for other purposes such as curtailing illegal immigration and identity theft.

Maine remains the lone state not to have been given an extension, despite having written a letter not unlike ones from Montana and New Hampshire. All of them explained how the respective state had strong license security procedures but wouldn't comply with the Real ID mandate.

Sanford's letter was extraordinary, however, since he used most of his words explaining why he thought Real ID was invasive, unfunded and dangerous.

Chertoff replied personally and substantively, writing that "thoughtful responsible and honest concerns sthat deserve equally thoughtful responses."

By contrast, Montana and New Hampshire got terse letters from Stewart Baker, a sharp-tongued assistant policy secretary who's been accusing critics of Real ID of throwing spaghetti on the walls.

It's clear the rebel states won, according to Bill Scannell, a spokesman for the Identity Project which has been fighting against Real ID.

"Montana's letter smirked," Scannell said. "New Hampshire's was down right disrespectful and you could see the scotch tape from where they cut-and-pasted pages from their DMV handbook."

"But Sanford's five-page letter was Fort Sumter-quality," Scannell said, referring to the South Carolina military installation where the Civil War started.
That leaves Maine as the only rogue left rogue, though the state is likely to get its own extension late Monday.

Once Maine gets its letter from DHS, the department can declare victory in improving the security of the nation's driver's licenses and leave the ongoing funding and privacy problems for a new administration to deal with come January 2009.

Monday, March 31, 2008


Get your lawyers.

I dare you to inspect or challenge this idea and post comments on this blog:

"No publicly-disclosed USA Federal law or regulation currently requires domestic USA airline passengers to present any sort of evidence of their identity. If you have a valid ticket and comply with their general rules, airlines are required by Federal law to transport you, regardless of whether you have any identification papers (government-issued, "Real-ID" compliant, or otherwise). The Real-ID Act and its rules will not change any of this. You will still have a right to fly without ID, even under the Real-ID rules newly announced by the USA Department of Homeland Security (DHS)." - The Practical Nomad

I double dare you to disprove there is a single state in the US that is currently compliant with Real ID implementation standards. As of March 31, 2008, per the extension deadline, not one state in the US is compliant with Real ID. Or am I just "throwing spaghetti"?

As far the US is concerned, it can just stay that way.

MAINE: Real ID, Land & Sea

DHS "Encouraged" by Maine Letter 3-27-08
c/o The Times Record

While Maine moves forward toward tightening driver's license requirements, U.S. Rep. Tom Allen last year co-sponsored a bipartisan law to repeal Real ID. Instead, the bill proposes bringing together Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, and privacy, civil liberties and constitutional rights experts to establish driver's license standards that protect both national security and individual privacy.

For residents of states that do not comply or file for an extension of Real ID, lack of a secure means of identification could mean difficulties boarding airplanes or entering federal buildings beginning May 11, Homeland Security officials say. But the Legislature in Maine, as in other states, has passed a law forbidding the Department of Motor Vehicles from complying with Real ID, citing issues of privacy and security, as well as the unfunded federal mandate. Anticipating Monday's Real ID deadline, Allen sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, calling the May 11 deadline "arbitrary" and stating that Homeland Security has clearly acknowledged the Real ID program will not work in its current form.

"On Jan. 11, 2008, DHS tacitly acknowledged this when they issued final rules directing states on how to implement Real ID," Allen wrote. "By issuing delay after delay, your agency seems to acknowledge that Real ID is unworkable as written."

Cookson concurred, noting Real ID was signed into law in 2005, but only now is the compliance deadline approaching. Furthermore, he said, states were just notified of the law's rules in January, but the final deadline is in May."Just imagine the line at the DMV," he said, referring to the thought of nearly one million licensed drivers or state ID holders who need (new) credentials between mid-January and mid-May. "The way the Real ID Act and compliance of that law have unfolded, it's really been all over the place. The DHS has issued compliance waivers to states because they know for a fact that there's really no way a state can comply ... prior to the law's implementation." ::FULL STORY HERE::

TWIC'd OFF: The Travails of Mainers with Passports 3-31-08 commentary

For those of you closely watching State's who's-who of Real ID, you will have noticed that Maine stands more to lose by the day as national land and sea governance move toward checkpoint status. DHS droppped bait for the "voluntary" sign-up for Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program as Mainers are allready scrambling to get their passports gearing up for a federal scrap over Real ID after May 11th.

When fully implemented, the TWIC program will require port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others needing unescorted access to secure areas at ports to carry ID cards containing their biometric data. The cards would have to be renewed every five years. Workers are required to pay $132 for the card. According to other states, it's not that popular.

It doesn't stop there.

Thursday, DHS released a final ruling concerning Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which applies to previously exempt travelers, including citizens of the U.S. This will mandate fisherman and travelers doing business to-and-from cold Canadian waters to provide a U.S. passport to dock in their hometown for the night.

It appears Maine will have less to lose in the long run after the bum rush for biometrified passports with RFID chips subside. Oh well, there's always the microwave.

South Carolina's Last Word on Real-ID Extension

HEAD TO HEAD: South Carolina Braces Against Real ID 3-31-08 w/ special thanks to Eric Ward of Columbia's Free Times

COLUMBIA, SC - The South Carolina governor's office released a five page letter with rationale for not filing a Real ID extension to the Department of Homeland Securities by today's deadline.

"At the end of the day, I'm duty-bound to uphold the laws of our state, which right now say we can't comply with Real ID," Gov. Sanford said.

"That being said, I do fall into the camp that believes Real ID is poor public policy for any number of reasons, and we have some real questions as to whether the benefits in terms of security outweigh the costs in terms of time and money. We think the state legislature did the right thing last year when it said no to Real ID, and I'm going to keep working with Homeland Security and with other governors to keep this law from negatively impacting our state."

Those following Real ID have eagerly awaited a response from the South Carolina governor's office, as one of the last states holding out to file an extension deadline to implement Real ID. In a statement released this morning, the South Carolina governor asked that their state's constituents not be treated any differently from states who have laws that prevent Real ID from being implemented, like Alaska and New Hampshire.