ACLU Welcomes Homeland Security Nominee Napolitano's Commitment to Reexamine Real ID

January 15, 2009 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – In her Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs confirmation hearing to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) called the Real ID Act a fiscal burden on the states and committed to a reexamination of the DHS initiative. She also said the Bush administration did not collaborate enough with the states before moving forward with its implementation.

“The ACLU is encouraged by the comments made today by Homeland Security Secretary-designee Napolitano to review the Real ID Act,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Congress passed this DHS initiative hastily without weighing its numerous privacy and constitutional problems. The ACLU welcomes a comprehensive examination of the law by the incoming administration that considers the legitimate interests of all stakeholders – federal and state governments, employers, employees, non-profit groups, and others.”

Twenty-one states have passed legislation rejecting Real ID, 10 of which are statutes prohibiting implementation and compliance with the act.

“States and the public have already decided the ultimate outcome of this review – that the Real ID Act is dead,” added Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel. “Now, with a fresh look from our new president and a new secretary of Homeland Security, the incoming administration has the opportunity to hammer the final nails into Real ID’s coffin.”

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