On January 21, 2009, at 1:00 pm, a coalition of 10 organizations from across Virginia will rally at the Virginia State Capital Bell Tower, 910 Capital Street, Richmond, VA 23219 in support of legislation to stop the implementation of Dangerous ID, the so-called Real ID Act of 2005. John Tate, President, will speak on behalf of Campaign for Liberty.
At least three pieces of legislation are being introduced in the 2009 Session of the Virginia General Assembly to stop the implementation of the federal mandate to come into compliance with the Real ID Act by the beginning of next year.
Similar legislation went no where last year but lobbying efforts will gain momentum as grassroots organizations take the news of the bills to the districts across the state. We are certain to shake things up in local politics with upcoming state elections on the horizon.
Leaders of the opposition consider the "REAL ID Act of 2005" to be a bad law passed under false pretenses. It was rejected three separate times by the U.S. Senate, and was only passed because it was buried in a larger bill containing disaster relief and funding for Iraq military operations. The Senate didn't want it, and the American people don't want it either. But the majority leadership in Congress imposed it on us, and so now we have to fight to get it stopped in Virginia.
Opponents fear the creation of a centralized federal database containing personal information about all Americans. Decisions about the exact nature and scope of this program will be made by Homeland Security bureaucrats in the Executive Branch. It seems inevitable that biometric information and electronic tracking tags will be included at some point. No one intends a bad use for this system today, but it is inevitable that it will be used in bad ways in the future.
There are valid concerns with regard to security of the citizen’s personal information due to the number of databases that would be storing personal information by the federal government and shared between the states across the country as part of standard procedure within Motor Vehicle Administrations in the states, and as enabled by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Neither the Federal Government nor the states can control access, which under International law includes data sharing even with Canada and Mexico. No one can know who is getting into those data bases and for what purpose.
According to the DHS, "Real ID is a nationwide effort intended to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of identification documents that State governments issue." Yet it does nothing to prevent terrorists and other criminals from fraudulently obtaining a "Real ID" by forging the required documents. In fact, with multiple on-line, federated databases shared across multiple organizations and federal and state agencies, it will become much easier.
Many good arguments can be made against this Dangerous ID, but they all reduce to one overpowering truth. The more information government has the less it seems to know. The more power government has the less it seems able to accomplish. Big Government doesn't work. The federal government needs to do less in order to accomplish more. Small government is focused government. We need smaller government, not a massive new federal identification system.
Please plan to attend and tell your Virginia legislators to stand up to Congress and Homeland Security to keep federal bureaucrats from hijacking your state driver’s license for their national citizen control scheme.