Real ID Rebellion Stalls Massive Senate Immigration Bill Over Fight for Privacy and Against Real ID, ACLU says

June 27, 2007 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON, DC – An amendment to the Senate immigration bill eliminating all references to a Real ID driver’s license was not killed today as expected, holding up the Senate immigration bill while amendments hang in the balance.

The amendment, offered by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT) was one of Senator John Kyl’s (D-AZ) so-called “deal breaker” amendments that he said would put the entire bill in jeopardy.

Currently, the Senate immigration bill requires all Americans to have a Real ID that holds their biometric information and stores it in a massive national database. Seventeen states have already rejected the $23.1 billion Real ID program, setting a precedent for national rejection of a federally mandated program. The vote to block a motion to table this amendment means Congress is deciding it cannot build an immigration bill around a license that the states will never issue to their residents.

The following can be attributed to Tim Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

“Today, members of Congress recognized that privacy matters and realized that America cannot build its immigration system around a risky licensing scheme that the public has widely rejected. The senators who voted not to table today had heard the threats, and in the end they chose privacy. We hope the rest of Congress will hear this message loud and clear and say no to Real ID.”

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