Businessweek.com Debate Room
To promote safety and cut red tape, state-by-state licenses should be replaced by federally issued ones. Pro or con? [MORE]
Real ID in a Nutshell
The debacle analysis continues.
TechRepublic c/o Chad Perrin
Isn’t greater security important? Doesn’t a set of national standards set a minimum bar for security, bringing nationwide compliance up to at least a tolerable level? Aren’t standards — especially for something as important as security — good things?
The answer is complex, but key points include:
effectiveness: As Governor Schweitzer points out in the above-linked interview, most of the identified 9/11 hijackers would have qualified to be issued an ID under the requirements of the REAL ID Act.
privacy: Among other issues of privacy, this Act aims to create a national database, available to many federal and state agencies, tracking personally identifying information about carriers of REAL ID compliant identification cards — which could also contribute to increased risk of identity fraud.
risks: Some of the requirements of the Act may actually increase security risks, rather than reducing them. This is a common problem with broadly applied standards enacted by people (like Congress) who have no security expertise. Among the problems is the mandate for RFID chips in your wallet — a source of security vulnerability about which I’ve already written, in What to do about RFID chips in your wallet.
legality: The law created by the passage of the REAL ID Act may itself be illegal. Specifically, it has been argued that it is unconstitutional, violating the 10th Amendment. [MORE]
Drivers license rejection anger policy's critics
Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle
New citizenship rules for Texas licenses lead to misfortune, complications“I have always maintained my legal status,” Mehmood said. “It's not fair to people who want to live here and follow the law.”-Adeel Mehmood, University of Houston alumni
Three months after the policy took effect, critics are pointing to a growing list of cases involving legal immigrants who have been significantly delayed or outright rejected in efforts to get or renew licenses despite being authorized to live and work legally in the U.S.
“I have always maintained my legal status,” Mehmood said. “It's not fair to people who want to live here and follow the law.”
Under the policy change, only applicants who have documents showing they have permission to stay in the U.S. for at least six months are eligible for Texas drivers' licenses. But immigration attorneys are reporting that people who meet that criteria but are unable to produce documents required by the Department of Public Safety to prove their legal status are still being turned away.
For example, Mehmood said he was rejected by DPS after being told his letter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granting him asylum wasn't specifically listed on DPS' list of acceptable forms. [MORE]