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CFPHR letter opposing Real ID funding

CFPHR letter opposing Real ID funding 2005

Letter opposing Real ID funding “>Real ID Letter

Dear Conferee,

We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to ensure there is no funding for implementation of the Real ID Act of 2005 in the final version of the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, FY 2008. $50 million for Real ID was appropriated in the House. In the Senate, however, an amendment offered by Sen. Alexander to add an additional $300 million was defeated by a bipartisan majority. Earlier efforts to expand Real ID as part of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill were also rejected. We strongly urge the Conference Committee to accept the Senate’s approach not to fund Real ID.

As you know, the Real ID Act was passed as a rider to an emergency supplemental bill in 2005. It received no hearings and no debate in the full chambers. Since its passage, Real ID has proved an enormous failure. The Department of Homeland Security has failed to issue final regulations for implementation of the Act. Meanwhile, the states have overwhelmingly rejected the law, with seven states passing binding laws barring implementation of its requirements, and an additional ten passing resolutions calling on Congress to repeal Real ID.

Furthermore, of the $40 million that has been appropriated for Real ID implementation so far, $34 million remains unspent. The $6 million that has been parceled out to the states was given in the form of grants to Kentucky and New Hampshire to develop pilot programs for implementation. This year, New Hampshire returned its grant and passed a law barring Real ID participation by the state. If an additional $50 million is appropriated, it is similarly likely to languish in Washington rather than going to states that need it to implement other desirable programs.

The response from the states and the recent legislative defeats for Real ID funding and expansion in the Senate make it clear that Real ID is a widely unpopular mandate that is nowhere near becoming a reality. Rather than throwing more money at this hopelessly flawed program, the Conference Committee should reallocate the $50 million to other national priorities, and Congress should fix the Real ID Act itself.

Thank you,

ADC Michigan
AFFIRM (Alliance for Fair Federal Immigration Reform)
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Massachusetts
American Civil Liberties Union
American Friends Service Committee
American Immigration Lawyers Association
American Library Association
American Policy Center
Americans for Tax Reform
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACESS)
Asian American Justice Center
Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons
Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition (BAIRC)
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
CAUSA, Oregon’s statewide immigrant rights coalition
Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
Citizen Outreach Project
Comite NO NOS VAMOS
Consumer Action
Cyber Privacy Project
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Equal Justice Alliance
EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center
Fuerza Mundial Collaborative
Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)
International Institute Rhode Island
Justice Through Music
Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Korean American Resource & Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
Korean Resource Center, Los Angeles, CA
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, Massachusetts Chapter
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Liberty Coalition
Long Island Immigrant Alliance
Michigan Organizing Project
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of La Raza
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
National Immigration Forum
National Immigration Law Center
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
Natural Solutions Foundation
New Jersey Immigration Policy Network
New York Immigration Coalition
Northwest Federation of Community Organizations
Pain Relief Network
Patient Privacy Rights
PrivacyActivism
Privacy Journal
Republican Liberty Caucus
Rural Organizing Project
Rutherford Institute
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Tenants Union of Washington State
U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation
VelvetRevolution.us
Washington Community Action Network
Washington Defender Association’s Immigration Project
World Privacy Forum
YKASEC – Empowering the Korean American Community