Texas' Department of Public Safety is at the center of a drivers license rule tug of war between what's really not-quite-law in the State of Texas and Governor Rick Perry's office. In recent months, more federal money became available in the form of FEMA grants to comply with the Real ID Act of 2005. DPS would certainly like to have the $171.2 million. However, it is unfortunate for them, and all of us, that Texas would have to pass legislation to comply with Real ID regulations in order to receive the federal funding. While the Austin Statesman spins that Texas does not resist a Real ID; attempts to push Real ID forward are being made without the Texas legislative process, allowing for public input.
Texas had such a fight on their hands last session that everything that touched Real ID as proposed law DIED. There were no survivors. It was a draw. Alas - this continuing fight intensifies.
The driving force behind the new push for Real ID rulemaking at DPS in Texas is, none other than, the Texas Governor's Office. Rick Perry is trying to get the job done before the '09 Texas legislative session and possibly before Bush leaves the Oval Office. Texas State lawmakers may be battling a bad example in the White House; one of delegating too much power to appointed officials (DPS Chair Allan Pollunsky) and thus abusing executive privilege.
REAL ID AS IMMIGRATION REFORM
Some herald the new vertical license issued by DPS as adequate means to quell dominance fears associated with border clashes. Let it be said here that immigration enforcement has always been a federal matter. Until you talk to the locals who are forced into the enforcement role, with or without proper credential. The substandard, slack-wristed way the U.S. enforces any type of immigration is the elephant sitting in the living room.
Big business pays the enforcers to look the other way. Even when big business is out of sight, enforcement at our borders is still spotty at best. When officials finally turn over and committ to enforce the immigration law they have - it's to create an ineffectual scary scenario, making an example of immigrants who are here on risky business.It's either not much at all or way over the top. There are huge imbalances to compensate for on the part of the U.S. government.
There are infinitely better, more effective ways for people to both work and travel here in the U.S. They are making some gains and work is going into it - but Real ID isn't immigration policy. It's a band-aid and a lollipop to those who want immigration reform and huge government contracts to anchor a surveillance state for the Pentagon.
USE & RELEVANCE
Real ID regulations call for technologies that don't secure anyone's identity, yet manage to create a record of everything you use them for. From there, everything you do is the government's business. Literally - they will make a big stack of money from the information they glean from studying the human animal migration patterns and your buying habits. The machinery to catalouge and account for all of this human behavior makes someone rich. Thus continues the expanding legacy of governance as The Corporations see fit (with or without ethics). Real Id regulations as enforced by DHS is big bad government business as usual.
Technology services don't actually have to be competent. They just have to make money. Biometrics have a lousy operations track record for security. They fail frequently. Which means there will be frequent pay-out in employment contracts to fix the broken biometrics. Radio frequency ID as secured identity technologies have failed miserably, as well. If you know your U.S. government technologies contracts policy, the electronics don't have to function reliably. You just have to successfully sell it to the Pentagon. The Pentagon will write a check for anything because they aren't paying for it - you are.
Apparently they didn't get the memo: we're broke. That means no money for Real ID programs or super spy telecomm outerspace sattelite mapping of wretches escaping the scene of disaster. Sorry National Applications Office... you may be out of business soon and your engineers will have to go back to swimming in the commercial waters, with or without insurance. Buh-bye!
DHS is still spending like they've got it - taking loans from (The Fed?) author/benefactors of fake money -consideration- manufactured from thin air to be repaid by the United Slaves of America. Since when do We the People work to pay off the debt of Public Servants? Since there has been a Federal Reserve.
So we know where the money to pay for Real ID programs comes from. The terrible question now is: do we put up with it?
I think not. There are too many people in Texas who would observe the national trend of turning down Real ID as a mandate for their state. We don't have to spit in anyone's eye. We just have to stand on our feet behind the legislators who understand their personal loss for choosing to go against the U.S. constitution, privacy and the security of their own identity.