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Super National ID Card Passes House

Infowars.com | February 11, 2005

COMMENT
On the heels of passing the National ID card in December, the House has passed legislation radically expanding the scope of the Orwellian ID law. From Panamerican standardization to DNA databases to targeting gun owners, it is a nightmare and does nothing about illegal immigration. On the heels of passing the National ID card in December, the House has passed legislation radically expanding the scope of the Orwellian ID law. From Panamerican standardization to DNA databases to targeting gun owners, it is a nightmare and does nothing about illegal immigration.
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House votes to make states verify license applicants (National ID)

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House votes to make states verify license applicants (National ID)

AP | February 10, 2005

Hoping to keep drivers licenses out of the hands of terrorists, the House voted Thursday make states verify that applicants are U.S. citizens or legal immigrants.

Republicans pushed the measure through on a 261-161 vote despite protests from governors and state motor vehicle departments that it would be too costly and would require them to take on the role of immigration officers.

The bill also would make it easier for judges to deport immigrants seeking political asylum if they think they might be terrorists.

"Common sense says we should not allow suspected terrorists to be able to stay inside our borders if they could harm us," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The measure was rejected by Congress and the White House in December as part of a bill reorganizing intelligence agencies in response to flaws found after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks. It was revived with newly won support from the Bush administration.

"Today there are over 350 valid drivers license designs issued by the 50 states. We all know it's very difficult for security officials at airports to tell the real ID cards from the counterfeit ones," said the bill's sponsor, House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner.

Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said the new features that states would have to include on drivers licenses would prevent terrorists from using them as IDs to board planes like the Sept. 11 hijackers did.

Governors, state legislators and motor vehicle departments have all argued that requiring verification of background information such as Social Security numbers and whether a person is in the United States legally would be burdensome.

The National Governors Association and a group representing motor vehicle department administrators said in a letter to House leaders that the measure is a "massive unfunded mandate."

 

 

Immigration bill sparks furor among some House Republicans, gun owners, and civil libertarians; Quietly breaking ranks

The Raw Story | February 10, 2005

Controversial new legislation billed as immigration reform has put Congressional Republicans into disarray over a variety of reasons ranging from Christian refugees to the National ID card, RAW STORY has learned.

According to senior House aides, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, several factions of the Republican Party are up in arms over the Republican authored H.R. 418 or Real ID Act, scheduled to go to a floor vote today.

The key players, according the aides, are Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ron Paul (R-Tex), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), chairman Sensenbrenner, and a very conservative Republican Congressman with strong ties to Falwell and Dobson.

Congressman Chris Smith, according to sources, is opposed to the Asylum Provision of HR 418, which would affect Christians persecuted in other countries seeking asylum in the United States. Smith did not return repeated calls for comment.

Asylum Provision

Although Republicans are using terrorism as the motivation for strict asylum provisions, the current asylum laws in no way applied to the events of 9/11, since all of the terrorists involved were in the United States legally and not as refugees.

One of the new provisions of HR 418 would require individuals seeking refuge in the U.S. from repressive and/or abusive regimes to provide documented proof of their persecution and/or abuse as well as the abusing government’s motivation.

“Can you imagine a Christian living in the Sudan going to ask the government to provide the U.S. with ‘motivation’ for persecuting Christians?” one aide said. “What do you think would happen to that person?”

How religious refugees will be affected by the asylum provision is a sore point for Congressman Smith, two sources confirmed. Sources also note Rep. Diaz-Balart’s concerns about Cuban refugees being denied safe harbor in the U.S.

Barrier Fence Provision

One section of the bill allows the Homeland Security Secretary to waive all federal, state, and local law for the construction of “barriers,” and is viewed by some as in direct opposition to the Constitution.

Primarily, the Secretary would have discretion to suspend environmental, eminent domain and labor laws. The provision is worded, however, in such a way as to not limit construction to the external border of the country and actually includes roads as “barriers.”

Such suspension of labor laws could affect child labor, standards of compensation and safety, any and all compensation for the loss of property, adverse environmental affects and any damages resulting from toxins.

One aide described a real world example.

“Imagine an illegal immigrant, a child, working to build roads on your property while spreading dioxin into the atmosphere,” the aide said.

Sources on both sides of the aisle express great concern over this particular provision.

One Democratic aide stated that “that moderate Republicans have privately expressed concern over the possible loss of the Latino vote, backlash from unions, and the concern that this in no way strengthens the border, a sentiment shared by Congressman Paul with regard to the National ID card.”

Provisions Affecting Civil Rights

The bill lays out the groundwork for a National ID card/driver’s license program and how it is administered.

The National ID card provision does not follow the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and instead turns the DMV worker into an INS worker.

On the surface, a centralized national database for past criminal records such as DUIs is not an issue for most Republicans and Democrats. What is of concern is the wording of the provision which asks the state to at “minimum” provide confirmation of documents of citizenship based on an assessment by a DMV employee.

The wording is such that it opens the door for the government to require anything from gun ownership records to health records should the state demand them.

This provision, Congressional aides say, does not in any way address the issue of terrorism because the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were in the United States legally and had legal drivers’ licenses. Further, 9/11 terrorists were given passports from the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Republican Congressman Ron Paul is among those vehemently denouncing the ID card.

“Very few people seem to see this as we do, as a precursor to something very bad, a domestic passport, a national ID card to do the business of life in America, to get a job, to travel,” said Rep. Paul’s press secretary Jeff Deist. “It doesn’t strengthen border control; it doesn’t add new agents or anything like that.”

“I think most Republican members are going to vote for it. I don’t think are there are that many House members [who will vote against it].”

Gun Owners of America agree with this concern.

“In considering this bill, the U.S. House will vote on whether to empower the federal government to determine who can get a driver’s license – and under what conditions,” the group said in a statement. “Since you need a driver’s license to purchase a gun from a dealer, this will give [the government] the expanded ability to impose even greater forms of gun control – something which it has long coveted. This will become even more apparent if an anti-gun Democrat like Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in 2008.”

“Ron is very much against this bill,” Deist added, echoing concerns of gun owners. “We wouldn’t characterize this as an immigration bill at all; from our perspective it does nothing about immigration but rather is a national ID bill. We liken it to gun laws that criminals ignore but law abiding citizens obey.”

Groups across the gamut of social and political persuasions express concern over the Patriot Act II provision which gives the Secretary of Homeland Security even more authority. The definition of what is a terrorist and/or a terrorist organization is very broad and could include protesters, political groups, and anyone the government “labels” as a terrorist.

The law will also apply retroactively to activities that were legal at the time, but later were labeled “terrorist.”

One source gave the following real life example: “Imagine I donate to a grassroots political party started by a group of average Americans. My donation is legal and the group’s activities are legal. Let’s say 10 years from now this group is run by different people and those people do something deemed to be “terrorism.” I can be labeled a terrorist because 10 years prior, I had donated to them, even though it was legal at the time.”

Some have stated that the only real reason for this type of law would be to deter from any political dissent.

The American Civil Liberties Union is incredibly troubled by the implications of the proposed legislation, deeming this act as an annulment of the entire Bill of Rights.

Sources say that some of these ‘immigration’ provisions are what held up the intelligence reform bill which Rep. Sensenbrenner would not bring to a vote late last year. In an attempt to mollify Sensenbrenner, a promise was made that

HR 418 would be brought to the floor for a vote early in 2005.

One aide said a floor debate was scheduled between House Democrats and House Republicans on the full HR 418 proposed legislation for Thursday, but the Republican House leadership held an unannounced closed door meeting on Wednesday to “bring” the dissenting views “back in line.”

Congressman Paul’s office, however, says that this is not the case.

“I don’t think there’s much pressure. I think most members support it,” Deist said. “I don’t get a sense at all there’s an effort [afoot] to twist people’s arms on the Republican side.”

National ID Cards Coming Up For A Vote This Week:
Threats to gun owners' privacy are a huge concern

Gun Owners of America | February 9, 2005

The National ID card is back in the news, as Congress is getting set once again to debate the issue.

You will remember that late last year, Congress passed (and the President signed) legislation which starts us down the road to a National ID card. In the name of preventing alien terrorists from operating in this country, the so-called Intelligence Reform bill gave federal bureaucrats unprecedented new powers to force changes in state-issued driver's licenses -- including, possibly, the addition of computer chip technology that can facilitate the tracking of all U.S. citizens.

Now, the House will be debating new legislation, H.R. 418, that was recently introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). In considering this bill, the U.S. House will vote on whether to empower the federal government to determine who can get a driver's license -- and under what conditions.

Since you need a driver's license to purchase a gun from a dealer, this will give BATFE the expanded ability to impose even greater forms of gun control -- something which it has long coveted. This will become even more apparent if an anti-gun Democrat like Hillary Clinton wins the presidency in 2008.

H.R. 418 is, unfortunately, supported by many Republicans who believe that repealing our liberties will somehow make us "secure." But GOA joined a large coalition of citizen-activist organizations this week in opposition to H.R. 418. In a letter to Congress, the coalition stated:
Standardization of driver's licenses has long been recognized as a bureaucratic back-door to implementation of a national ID card. With its required linking of databases and ability of the Secretary of Homeland Security to require a prescribed format, HR 418 takes us well along that road. Concerns are further heightened when the bill fails to even provide lip service to privacy concerns, and proposes to share all of our data on the driver's license database with Canada and Mexico.

Realizing government's tendency towards mission creep, no one should be surprised if this database grows to contain far more information than that which is relevant to driving. HR 418 requires that the database shall contain "at a minimum," all information contained on the driver's license as well as driving history. There is no limit to what other information may eventually be contained in the database -- something which should definitely concern gun owners.

H.R. 418 is being touted as a way of cleaning up some of the problems with the law that was enacted last December. But this bill is still an attack on states' rights. It still takes us down the road to a National ID card. And it would still do nothing to keep real terrorists from operating in our country.

ACTION: Please contact your Representative and urge him or her to oppose H.R. 418. You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

-----Pre-written letter-----

Dear Representative:

H.R. 418 would give the federal government open-ended authority to determine who may and may not get a driver's license -- and under what circumstances.

Since I need a driver's license to purchase a gun from a dealer, BATFE would finally have its long-coveted tool to impose gun control on targeted groups -- particularly under a liberal anti-gun administration.

If you believe in the Second Amendment, please vote against this anti-gun monstrosity.

Sincerely,

 

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