Archive for the ‘Rep. Lamar Smith’ Category

c/o CNET’s Declan McCullough

c/o The 5-11 Campaign

Our economy and government are going through tremendous strains from financial and budgetary shortfalls.  In the past, this has worked to slow implementation of the deeply flawed Real ID program.  Real ID, like many federal programs, are headed for budget cuts. This would stop federal subsidies to develop local Real ID database hub infrastructure; which would be both insecure, damaging to privacy and civil liberty.

Many of you have been committed to actions which helped to combat a dangerous national ID card program in the US. Right now, we really need you to raise your voice again, to spread the truth and to ask Congress to defund Real ID.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) issued an opinion editorial to drive support for post 9-11 Commission recommendations, including increased enforcement of the Real ID Act.  Rep. Smith made an attempt to connect an adequately foiled terror plot of 20 year old Khalid Ali-M Alswsari in Texas as reason to sustain the Real ID Act. 

In this instance, the alleged plot was stopped cold by FBI agents simply doing their jobs. Smith is simply trying to drive scared people to ask Congress to continue the Real ID program, to create funding for it before the prospect of a government shutdown in March.

He also has the ideological support of the Heritage Foundation, a neo-conservative  policy firm, who is responsible for propagating the following myth.

Myth: Real ID will keep illegal aliens or terrorists from getting a license.

Fact: Illegal aliens have always found a way to get a license. In 2009, a ring in South Florida was arrested that included several driver license examiners that were bribed to issue licenses to those that were ineligible. It’s worth noting this case was made via old-fashioned police work without anyone’s rights being violated. The REAL ID Act does not require people to submit anything with a photo on it (except a passport used in lieu of a birth certificate), so if you borrow or steal someone else’s papers, you can obtain a REAL ID compliant license. Source: Floridians Against Real ID

Do not let your friends and neighbors be misled into support for a national ID card program. If Congress votes for budgetary support for the Real ID Act in 2011, it would further establish infrastructure for the US surveillance state.

Please send this notice to your friends and contact your Congressional leaders asking them to please defund the Real ID Act.

Your effort contact may be the one that makes the most difference.

You can make your mark by doing the following.

  1. Find the contact for your congress members here
  2. Call your congressional leaders via phone, at the district office closest to you.
  3. Write your congressional  leaders. Compose an e-mail.  After sending, print a copy and mail it to the local office. 

Here is a suggestion of what you could write.

Dear Representative/Senator,

The Real ID Act was declared “dead” in 2009 by Secretary Napolitano, but DHS continues to keep trying to fund it.

In this time of stretched budgets and fiscal crises every penny counts.  Please vote down legislation which enforces government waste on programs opposed by over 25 States.  Such is the case with the Real ID regulations. 

Please work with legislators who have aims to defund this national ID card program, in exchange for deliverable reforms which don’t waste our budgetary resources.