To the editor:
In May 2005, our U.S. Congress passed a military spending bill, H.R.1268, that includes the Real ID Act. Real ID creates, in effect, a national ID card. Personal information will be contained on all new driver's licenses and pooled into one central database.
The official purpose "includes but is not limited to accessing federal facilities, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants, and any other purposes that the Secretary (of Homeland Security) shall determine."
On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Patty Murray described how Real ID was pushed through Senate conference committee without discussion or vote and added to H.R.1268. This lack of due process prompted her to ask, "Why was this added to a must-pass bill without any debate?"
"Any other purposes." That could be anything any secretary of Homeland Security determines.
Surprisingly, many state and federal representatives don't know about this act or are afraid to challenge the language. Real ID goes into effect in May 2008. As it is written, the states need to reject Real ID. Our Congress needs to repeal it. Otherwise, for what purposes Real ID?