Archive for the ‘Real ID Act of 2005’ Category

ZILLAMOD -This is the god’s to honest truth. At the end of the day – it’s not a partisan matter. It’s a family matter. You use whatever you have to protect your family from harm. I am the same. This is my story as well.

This is a repost by Linda Vega.

Being an American citizen is one of the most powerful manifestations of our constitutional tradition as a nation and as a government. These constitutional rights and obligations reserved strictly for citizens have made man want to die to protect our nation, because they know that as citizens they have unalienable rights. However, the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration is now stripping American citizens of their citizenship. More importantly, these attacks on a population where American citizens are being denied their constitutional rights are mainly aimed at a group: elder Latino Texans who were too poor to go to a county hospital and opted, instead, to use a midwife because there was no hospital in the poor rural areas of Texas. As a result, the Obama Administration is now incarcerating and stripping some seniors of their citizenship because they are unable to “properly” prove their birth occurred on U.S. soil.

According to immigration attorney Jaime Diez, along the Rio Grande River in Texas, there are cases where Elderly Latinos have to relinquish their U.S. Citizenship because they cannot provide enough evidence to substantiate their birth on U.S. soil by either a hospital or a credible midwife.

Prior to 2009, a few cases of maybe 20-30 would arise where elderly Latinos had to produce evidence of their U.S. Citizenship. Usually a baptismal record or a birth certificate would suffice to prove their U.S. citizenship birth. However, under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, (“WHTI”), which came into full force and effect on June 1, 2009, changes implemented under this new law, have caused overzealous U.S. agents and officers to litigate case after case that seeks to strip U.S. Citizenship from Latinos that now number over 1000.

With only limited exceptions, WHTI makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to “depart from or enter the United States” without a valid U.S. passport. 8 U.S.C. §1185(b); 22 C.F.R. §53.1(a). While this may be a necessary application of law, for a group of people who did not have the conveniences of modern day hospitals or record keeping when they were born, it has become a nightmare and a loss of identity.

Long before there was a dispute regarding the demarcated boundary that separates the U.S. and Mexico, descendants of Mexicans lived along the border on the U.S. side for years without fear of having to leave their country of choice. When Texas became the 28th state under the Presidency of Polk in 1845, those who lived along the border were annexed into the U.S.

Additionally, when the two countries were unwilling to reach a compromise as to where the boundary would be set, the Mexican-American war broke out on April 25, 1846. The result of that war fixed the southern boundary between the two countries at the Rio Grande River. For generations, the people living along the Rio Grande River into Mexico where their relatives were left in their undisturbed Mexican residency and those in the U.S. were granted U.S. Citizenship. It was a matter of convenience and understanding that those U.S. Citizens who were instantly acquiesced into the U.S. territory had travel privileges back and forth between the two countries. In the years that followed, children were born through midwives and clinics who would record the births as credible state records. In 1925, more than 50 percent of babies born in Texas were delivered by midwives. However, by 2004, the number had dropped to 6.6%. Much of the change was brought about because as rural areas integrated more clinics into the area, many along the border were receiving more prenatal care and healthcare during births.

The earliest known hospital in the valley was in Harlingen, Valley Baptist medical Center, founded in 1925. Surrounded by rural areas and colonias, the hospital is at least a 25 mile distance to these areas. At present, it is not uncommon for women to give birth to children in clinics or hospitals as these facilities are not as scarce as previous years prior to 1950. The births were not the problem, it was an industry norm for registering births that had unintended consequences on what the government is now terming, “delayed birth certificate” fraud.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), many of these births recorded by midwives are either fraudulent or not legal as they were not recorded according to standards. Those affected by this new application of law, now find themselves having to defend their birth certificate and passports granted to them by the U.S. State Department.

Additionally, those affected are between the ages of 60 and older born in the 1940-50s. This is the age group that is most affected as they were more likely to be born by the assistance of a midwife and at home.

While Texas is approximately 25 million in total, it is populated by a large Latino community in the rural areas, and in South Texas where about 90% of the total population is Latino.

Texas and South Texas Population by Ethnicity, 2007

When broken down into the counties most affected by the passport requirement see the following:

Consequently, immigration attorneys in the Rio Grande Valley have noticed that these cases requiring elderly Latinos to prove their citizenship has spiked within the last two years. Attorney Jaime Diez argues that over 1000 cases have been reported but many more are not for the sake of keeping the peace. However, these are only the cases of those with financial resources to fight DHS, or USCIS in court; but many more surrender their citizenship fearing a long battle in a court that is estimated to cost between $15,000 to $20,000. Many of the elderly, living on a fixed income cannot imagine this long battle or the expense, and instead relinquish their U.S. Citizenship and leave for Mexico, a land not their home.

Immigration Attorneys, like Jaime Diez, in the Rio Grande Valley accept the cases on a pro bono capacity, but have been overwhelmed recently with unnecessary discovery requests by the government and oftentimes face over 5 U.S. attorneys for a simple case of birth certificate verification. In one such case, Jaime Diez in Brownsville. States that five U.S. Attorneys were flown in from Washington D.C. to appear in Federal District Court to ask women questions regarding her childhood in the valley. The U.S. Attorneys asked to be taken to the many places the woman played as a child and other places where she and her brother remembered family gatherings. This was not only inefficient use of government money and resources, it provided little if any comfort thinking that securing the border means stripping Latinos of their U.S. Citizenship rather than apprehending those who are “terrorists” in all aspects at the border crossing.

In 2008, Obama promised Latinos change. Unfortunately, one of these promised changes includes having to lose your birthright identity because you were born at a time when a system was inefficient and antiquated. According to the present Obama policies, if you were born in 1950 and beyond, you are expendable in the U.S. Your absence, along the Rio Grande Valley where you have lived most of your life, will be overlooked. According to this Administration, Latinos have an apathy and will not participate in elections, and so invalid deportations and stripping on U.S. Citizenship will go unnoticed because no one will dare to speak up to this injustice. It is a quiet secret that many will chose to ignore. But Latinos are strong in family ideals and are compassionate protectors for the less fortunate. And now that many do know about what is happening to the elderly along the border, I hope that this Administration is placed on alert to immediately cease and desist this action. It is a shameful way to protect the border, and frankly this behavior is anything but American or decent, it is Mr. President, monstrous.


WASHINGTON – Based on reports from Liberty Coalition mover, Michael Ostrolenk, Representative Ron Paul has picked up a legislation to comprehensively repeal the Real ID Act of 2005 with no substitutions.

Several privacy, civil liberty and technology coalitions increased discussions about the Real ID Act calculating efforts towards a comprehensive repeal late last year. A draft was hatched during that time. Congressional leaders were solicited in order to seek a repeal. Rep. Ron Paul was the first to step up to the plate.

More news on coalition based developments to come.

New Mexico’s Senators provide representation on National ID debate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide New Mexicans with assurances that their travel plans early in the new year will not be disrupted by a federal law governing drivers’ licenses.

In 2005, Congress passed legislation — called the REAL ID Act — requiring states to tighten requirements related the issuance of drivers’ licenses because they are used as a standard form of identification for a variety of federal purposes, including air travel. While the senators support strengthening the standards governing IDs, they are concerned about a National Governors Association estimate that as many as 36 states – including New Mexico – will not be able to meet the Dec. 31, 2009, deadline to comply with the law.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the senators said enforcing the Dec. 31 deadline would cause a significant disruption in air travel. They also pointed out that New Mexico has asked for an extension of the deadline. In their letter, the senators urged DHS to quickly clarify its plans regarding the implementation of the REAL ID Act:

“The Department of Homeland Security has not indicated whether it will grant an extension, despite the fact that a majority of states are unlikely to be in compliance with the REAL ID Act. This is causing a great deal of anxiety for our constituents, who are seeing news reports that they will need a passport in order to fly on a commercial airline after the first of the year. Without assurances from your Department that a passport will not be necessary, many people may alter or cancel their travel plans. This uncertainty may also have a significant economic impact if the residents of non-compliant states decide not to fly or are unable to do so,” Bingaman and Udall wrote.

President Obama has indicated his desire to modify the REAL ID Act through new legislation, called the PASS ID Act, but that proposal has not yet been passed into law.

“While we understand the Administration’s desire to enact the PASS ID Act in lieu of granting an additional extension, the uncertainty surrounding the steps the Department may or may not take if the legislation is not signed into law is creating confusion and raising serious concerns in the many states that are not currently in full compliance with existing law,” Bingaman and Udall wrote.


Full text of letter to DHS Secretary Napolitano:

November 30, 2009

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington D.C. 20528

Dear Secretary Napolitano:

We are writing to respectfully request that the Department of Homeland Security provide an extension for states to become materially compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005. As you know, more than thirty states, including New Mexico, are unlikely to meet the December 31, 2009 deadline. While we understand the Administration’s desire to enact the PASS ID Act in lieu of granting an additional extension, the uncertainty surrounding the steps the Department may or may not take if the legislation is not signed into law is creating confusion and raising serious concerns in the many states that are not currently in full compliance with existing law.

The Department of Homeland Security has not indicated whether it will grant an extension, despite the fact that a majority of states are unlikely to be in compliance with the REAL ID Act. This is causing a great deal of anxiety for our constituents, who are seeing news reports that they will need a passport in order to fly on a commercial airline after the first of the year. Without assurances from your Department that a passport will not be necessary, many people may alter or cancel their travel plans. This uncertainty may also have a significant economic impact if the residents of non-compliant states decide not to fly or are unable to do so.

The Director of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division sent you a request on November 25 to grant the state an extension of the December 31 deadline. We support this request; however, we also ask that if the Department does not intend to provide such an extension, that you issue a public statement as soon as possible to reassure the traveling public that you will work to mitigate the adverse impact of REAL ID.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for your ongoing efforts to strengthen homeland security.


Jeff Bingaman
U.S. Senator

Tom Udall
U.S. Senator

Source: Senator Tom Udall

BTC – On January 11, 2008, the House Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee spoke his truth about privacy and domestic expenditures in the Real ID Act.

Representative Bennie Thompson sent correspondence to then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff the day before Real ID Act regulations were announced to national press. Please read his eye opening letter ; which confirms current objections to the Real ID Act were present among lawmakers before the release of its regulations.
The bottom lines of his letter were profoundly clarifying where expenses are applied to the American people over Real ID.
“The Department has spent close to $300 million on programs that have been discontinued because of the failure to adhere to privacy rules and regulations. It is crucial that the Department take the necessary safeguards to ensure REAL ID does not become the next cancelled program.”

“In sum, this measure may not serve to make our nation safter.”

House Homeland Security Chairman, Bennie Thompson

“What needs to be understood is the fact that in order to operate any sort of coffee wagon, hot dog stand or other such business in New York and most other cities, the vendor needs to have legitimate ID in order to qualify for a vendor’s license. It is also obvious that to drive any conveyance, such a taxi cab, limo or airport shuttle bus, the would be driver, first and foremost needs to have a valid driver’s license.

This is why the Real ID Act was so important and one of the reasons I am adamantly opposed to providing illegal aliens with driver’s licenses.”

Michael Cutler, a former INS Agent

*The views and opinions of Michael Cutler are not necessarily the views and opinions of

BTC- According to these reports, the current investigation of an Afghani and another muslim terrorism suspect in NY has revealed that both have lawful immigrant status here in the U.S. The billowing rhetoric from some national Republican lawmakers that a national ID will both control immigration and terrorism is examined in the following News Blaze editorial.

It is our assessment, that not every state is clear about how Real ID and drivers licenses will play out per the administration to legal OR undocumented aliens. In the case of terrorism, lawful entry into the country seems to be the popular modus operandi or means where terrorist are subversively allowed to roost.

However, you cannot prosecute for a crime that has not been committed. The point of an investigation is to determine if a crime has been committed. If a crime has been committed, a jury trial ensues and then a verdict is given towards the culpability of a crime.

In my previous writings and posts here, amnesty has been a stumbling block set in place, ironically, by a Republican president. The Real ID Acts aims to deal with amnesty are placebo in nature, like a sugary pill which actually treats or cures nothing for immigration reform efforts for both sides of the aisle.

Millions of New Yorkers were outraged when former Governor Eliott Spitzer gave Enhanced Drivers Licenses [New York’s respective Real ID] the greenlight because so many undocumented aliens were able to attain legal drivers licenses. In this case the Real ID Act became a leg up for would be terrorism. Cutler’s editorial perspective sheds light on the ideas of immigrants in our country being able to receive identity in order to function normally in day-to-day living. Real ID will be an undocumented aliens American Identity in New York and in Texas or New Mexico Real ID legislation portends relief from amnesty clauses, which it won’t necessarily deliver on. Long standing immigration law goes unenforced every day.

Immigration in this country has become about a black market labor trade. 3rd world undocumented immigrants in this country do not require health benefits, lawful working conditions and receive drastically undercut wages for their work. It’s a business market where both Democrats and Republicans in this country have their own way of keeping things moving towards a profitable hand over fist arrangement.

Anti- National ID advocates are encouraged to accept that Real ID will not do much at all for immigration reform at all because that is not the reason for its design. Its design is to get every American to prove their citizenship at every turn. Real ID’s design is orchestrated so citizenship will constantly be questioned. At that point no amount of citizenship will be enough to escape an arbitrary prying into your life. You will lose some of the integrity of your citizenship, because you may not be American enough for someone that day to receive whatever it is that your mandated Real ID card will call for.

Whether or not we agree with Cutler’s views on immigration reform, it is an honest portrayal of how a NY drivers license didn’t prove its worth as a citizenship sieve to stop terrorism. That is the job of federal law enforcement.

Response to “Two New Yorkers Questioned in Zazi Investigation, Attorneys Say”

Cutler’s editorial was a response to ABC news reporting on the investigation of the NY based terrorism plots.

Support Articles on the Zazi Case & Prosecution for Terrorism in the U.S. [ABC]

Two New Yorkers questioned in Zazi investigation, attorneys say

NEMA projects PASS Act’s Greenlight by December ’09
c/o NEMA

On June 16, 2009, the “Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009”(PASS ID) that would repeal and replace the REAL ID Act of 2005 in order to allow all states to fully comply with security measures designed to make ID’s safer was introduced in the Senate.

The bill was introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with seven other co-sponsors, four of which also serve on the committee. The PASS ID Act removes certain provisions of the REAL ID Act including the requirement that State’s share identification information with each other as well as the strict rules governing use of REAL ID compliant identification to board commercial aircraft while keeping other non-controversial requirements. In July, a hearing was held to examine PASS ID legislation and Secretary Napolitano testified on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

On July 27, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ordered the bill reported favorably but
as of this time, no full Senate vote has been scheduled.

Despite Secretary Napolitano communicating directly with Governors through a letter, there remains a stalemate on REAL ID implementation. The Department is reluctant to continue extending the end-of-year deadline, but 13 states stand statutorily prohibited from implementing the program. A majority of states and NGA have endorsed PASS ID. It is the hope of the Secretary to see PASS ID approved by December 31.

Jim Harper c/o Cato Institute

Some state governments have claimed that a pending compliance deadline for REAL ID requires them to tighten up their driver’s licensing procedures consistent with the 2005 national ID law. (But see this.)

In fact, REAL ID is dead and the deadline is fake. More than a dozen states have statutorily barred themselves from complying, and in a rule published Monday the Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline again. This is the same thing it did last May and could easily do indefinitely.

The republic survives, and will survive quite nicely without this or any national ID law.


BTC Commentary – We addressed this topic lightly in our editorialized piece Kick the Can, Anyone? Anyone?

In essence, refusal to renew or file an extension is refusal to comply with the Real ID Act. We don’t expect any consequences to States because the Act is unenforceable and declared “D.O.A.” DHS Secretary Napolitano.

The administrative drift towards bureaucratic compliance drones on towards States like a paper zombie. That is the nature of federal government paperwork. When an early alarm sounds, you hit the snooze button. State action is case specific, of course. However, if I were to follow my gut …not a single state government is in any hurry to shell out cash for a repealing identity program. So what do you do with the machinations of a deadline? The same thing most people do with their computerized updates; select the “NOT NOW” button and go on about your business by supporting the effort to comprehensively repeal the Real ID Act.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR STATE BUDGET FOR COMPLIANCE… The best you can do is check in with your local governor’s office. An extension is a procrastinatory note; it’s not a budget or widgets sold. Real ID is considered dead. One course of action for pragmatic States is to roll over and do nothing. A State government who wants to play paper wall ball with DHS; you will fill out some sheets of paper that kick the can down the road. This creates another deadline until the federal government has decided what to do about the tarbaby a.k.a. the Real ID Act.

There are two paths with the same result.
You’re state will do nothing or fill out an extension, which is something that really amounts to nothing but another deadline. By December 31, 2009 some states will be in “compliance” by filing extension paper and at least 24 states will have something signed by their governor substantiating they are not going along with Real ID regulatory conditions. Real ID will still be dead at that time.