Saturday, January 12, 2008

Real ID not so real anymore

Try as I might, I cannot understand the refusal of some groups, states and citizens to support a national ID. So many other countries have it, and nothing has happened. There is no widespread ID theft in Chile, Spain, Germany or Poland. Canada and the UK are investigating the possibility of enacting a program to include a national ID.

So I was quite pleased when they came up with the Real ID act; while not a national ID at least it seemed to be a step in the right direction in identity documents in this nation. But alas, it's been pushed back to 2014. It had a lot of opposition from civil rights groups and from states who said they couldn't foot the bill. I agree with states, they shouldn't have to entirely foot the bill; the Federal government should've at least given the states 50% of the cost increase to ensure timely and accurate implementation.

I guess Sensenbrenner said it best:
"While this phased-in enrollment of the law may save states some operational funds, it is important to realize that by pushing back the original 3-year deadline till 2017, a full 12 years after the law was enacted, DHS is weakening the intent of the law," Sensenbrenner said in a statement. "A lot can happen in the next 9 years, and I hope our nation does not encounter a situation in that time that will cause us to regret this delay."
I hope so too. Unfortunately, I don't think even another 9/11 will make people realize the importance of having official documents. And for the life of me, I will never understand this McCarthy era fear mongering by civil rights groups.