For years, politicians have been preying on the American people’s fears of terrorism and the hysteria over illegal immigration, to push for a national ID. Concerns with government snooping and citizen privacy have taken a back seat to these efforts.
Now, they’re at it again.
In the late 1990s a national identification provision was included in an illegal immigration “reform” bill; it was later repealed. Then, in 2005, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the REAL ID Act as part of an “emergency” supplemental military spending bill. Stuck into this spending measure was a provision mandating a uniform set of driver licensing requirements for states to implement. States were required to provide the information for a database that other states could access.
As a stand-alone bill, the REAL ID Act was unable to gain much traction in the Senate; despite passing the House by a comfortable margin. But after Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) was famously criticized in 2004 by the Bush campaign for not supporting troop funding, no member of the Senate dared oppose the legislation
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