Kathy Posner

On September 11, 2001, the United States of America experienced one of the worst tragedies of its history. National security then became a major priority and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created. Carrying some sort of identification became mandatory, as most buildings started requiring an ID for entry. Where this procedure has only been used at government buildings, even access to the elevator in an office building necessitated some sort of identification. But since every state has a different type of driver’s license (or state ID), and different requirements for issuance of the license, a REAL ID act was passed requiring states to be in compliance with new Federal guidelines for the issuance of IDs by May 11, 2011.

Sounds like the State’s need to update their systems. If the Feds required citizens to do something, we would have to comply immediately. But since many states have not done this, DHS has delayed implementation of the Act until January 15, 2013. Moving the date ahead NINETEEN MONTHS instead of forcing compliance?! Insane!

How can the Feds justify this? A 9-page announcement states, “Implementation of REAL ID involves a significant financial investment, and, despite the receipt of substantial Federal grant funds, a number of States are struggling to come up with the resources necessary to meet the full compliance deadline in these times of budget austerity. Additionally, some States delayed investing in new technology."

Since every document provided for identification (social security number, birth certificate, address, etc.) has to be verified under REAL ID, we are lucky that Illinois is closer than most states because we have really good security systems in place.

On January 29, 2008, DHS promulgated a final rule implementing the requirements of the act so states had more than THREE YEARS to become compliant! Instead, on March 7th this year, the DHS gave notice of the delay in the Federal Register that they were extending the deadline.

Let’s look at the time line again. In JANUARY OF 2008, the Feds say that states must have systems in place to verify that all information given for the issuance of an ID is verified. And now the deadline for compliance is 2013, FIVE YEARS later!

If the United States of America cannot get a system in place to verify the legitimacy of its own citizens’ identification cards for FIVE YEARS, what kind of message are we sending to the terrorists whose mission is to destroy us?

The Federal Register statements about moving the compliance date includes this section:

“Throughout the development and implementation of the REAL ID program, DHS has engaged in extensive, ongoing discussions with the States regarding their ability to comply with the REAL ID Act and the DHS regulations. Based on those communications, DHS has learned that the States, despite their good-faith efforts, will not be able to meet the May 11, 2011 deadline.”

Well, I am letting the Federal Government know that despite my good-faith efforts, I won’t be filing my income tax return by April 15th. I will be happy to engage in extensive on-going discussions to explain why.

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