An open letter to Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
As a constituent who cares deeply about privacy and national security, I urge you to oppose implementation of the REAL ID Act and support its immediate repeal.
The creation of a national identification card is not a power delegated to Congress under Article I, section 8 of the United States Constitution, and violates the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution which states, â€œThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.â€
National identification systems are prone to abuse at every step of their creation and use.Â The REAL ID Act would establish an enormous national database of ID holders, where even a small percentage of errors would cause major social disruption.
The ID would function as an internal passport that would be shown before accessing planes, opening bank accounts, and entering federal buildings, but its uses will inevitably expand to assist a wide variety of surveillance activities.
REAL ID doesnâ€™t just cost me my privacy â€“ the states and individual taxpayers will be ones who ultimately have to bear the over $23 billion burden of implementing this law.Â The federal government cannot force such burdensome, invasive mandates on the states.
The REAL ID Act would divert resources from security measures that could actually work.Â Most of the systems needed to implement the law do not exist yet.Â Meanwhile, IDs do little to stop those who havenâ€™t already been identified as threats, and wrongdoers will still be able to create fake documents.
The Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s recently released draft regulations do nothing to fix the fundamental flaws with REAL ID.Â State legislatures around the country are already recognizing these flaws and rejecting the lawâ€™s implementation.Â Two bills in Congress, S.717 and H.R.1117, would correct this illegal policy â€“ repealing REAL ID entirely.
A materially constructive reply is expected.
Douglas D. Strother