MAINE: The Extended Version

Posted: April 2, 2008 in Uncategorized

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 Guardian.co.uk , 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::

MORE NEWS:

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.

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