DHS Intends to Ignore 9/11 Commission Recommendations
(March 4, 2011 — Washington, D.C.) - Today’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it would delay, for the third time, implementation of the REAL ID Act, demonstrates that the security of the nation continues to take a backseat to politics, charged the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). As Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano opposed passage of REAL ID and continues to resist its implementation as Secretary of DHS. This latest delay means that state driver’s licenses and other identity documents will not have to meet tighter standards until January 15, 2013.
Congress originally enacted REAL ID on May 11, 2005. It was scheduled to take effect three years later. The previous delay pushed the deadline for compliance to May 11, 2011. REAL ID addresses specific recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, which found that lax rules for issuance of state driver’s licenses and inconsistent security features of the licenses were exploited by the terrorists who carried out the deadly attacks against our nation. Bureaucratic foot-dragging by state governments and advocates for illegal aliens has prevented this vital legislation from going into effect.
“Assuming this latest deadline is actually met, it will have taken nearly as much time for this country to produce a secure driver’s license as it took from the time President Kennedy set the goal of putting a man on the moon to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing there,” noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “There is no valid reason for why it should take nearly eight years to implement a set of guidelines designed to prevent terrorists from obtaining driver’s licenses.
“Today’s announcement gives Americans serious reason to doubt that the Obama administration ever intends to implement REAL ID,” continued Stein. “The repeated delays in implementation are nothing more than a back door tactic to kill a law that the administration does not want to enforce.”
Advocates for illegal aliens opposed passage of REAL ID and have consistently fought the law’s implementation. Full implementation of the law would make it virtually impossible for illegal aliens to obtain valid driver’s licenses or other government-issued identity documents. These identity documents have helped facilitate illegal immigration, making it easy for illegal aliens to live and work in the United States.
“Producing a secure driver’s license is something that should have been easily accomplished within the original timeframe set by the law. The hold-up is that a secure driver’s license conflicts with the immigration policy goals of many in Washington. Those goals, unfortunately, continue to take precedence over the security of the nation,” Stein charged.