How REAL ID Affects Your Liberty- The Schumer-Rubio Immigration Bill

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This analysis appears originally at Liberty First Network

You may have read about some controversy involving the “Gang of 8″ immigration bill. The sponsor is Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY, on the left above), with a co-sponsor being our “conservative” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL, on the right above). The bill is SB 744, and is linked here if you’d care to read it.

A friend had alerted me to a danger in this bill. When analyzing any bill, the first standard must be that of our Constitution.  On face value, the bill deals with immigration and naturalization, a federal power in Article 1 Section 8. Like any bill of this scope, further reading is required. Tucked away in Section 3101 was a change to section 274A. In a nutshell, this section of the bill is a federal regulation of hiring employees. It affects all employers and all employees. That part is NOT in Article 1 Section 8- just like E-Verify.

To understand the language in the bill, you must understand what the REAL ID program is. As most know, on 9/11/01, 19 middle eastern males attacked our nation. All but one had entered the country illegally or improperly- which was not detected by federal (not state) border security personnel. This usually involved improperly issued visas. Once here, several of the terrorists obtained driver licenses in several states using false addresses, but their real names. False addresses are still possible today as all it takes is a computer and scanner/printer to dummy up some documents.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, killing liberty in Congress since 1979
to the tune of $4 million+ in salary

The same 9/11 Commission that identified the root cause of the terrorists being improperly allowed into the country recommended the federal government set driver license standards. This was done even though one of the terrorists used a passport to board a plane- something which can still be done today. When this took place in 2005, the original bill (HR 418 of 2005) could not be enacted, so the liberty-killing sponsor, James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) hid the bill in a defense authorization and Tsunami relief bill (HR 1268 of 2005). President George W. Bush signed it into law on May 11, 2005- just a day after he had been in Georgia (the one in the former Soviet Union) praising them for their freedom. In his signing statement, he made no mention of the hidden REAL ID Act. About half the states refused to comply, and they were nearly evenly mixed as to Democrat and Republican opposition. This was not the typical “red vs blue” issue.

Former FL Sen. Carey Baker
He supports the 10th Amendment- just ask him… but Don’t look at his record.

In 2008, instead of defending state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment, Republicans in Florida led by former Sen. Carey Baker rushed to enact the law, claiming they had to do so since it was federal law. The law was effective January 1, 2010, and wreaked havoc with citizens that were now required to produce certified copies of many documents- which were then scanned into a  state database required to be shared with other states. Married, widowed, and divorced women were hit the hardest, as they had to get certified records for each name change. REAL ID is a national ID card, the subsequent bill calls it a “federal identification”. A hidden aspect of the law no one talks about is the 4th “official purpose”, which is anything as determined by the DHS Secretary.  Read more about REAL ID here.

Now back to SB 744. In Sec. 3101, the language used (instead of quoting chapter & verse, which is very lengthy, I’ll summarize it), states ANY employer hiring AN INDIVIDUAL for employment shall obtain documentation from the person. This includes for a citizen either a passport (all of which now have an RFID chip in them), or an “enhanced” REAL ID compliant state driver license or ID card. The difference between a “regular” REAL ID and an “enhanced” one is simple: An RFID chip.

What’s so bad about RFID?

Please read this news story. This actually happened, a hacker “cracked” a government ID in 12 minutes and made it transmit “I am a terrorist – shoot on sight”. RFID means Radio Frequency ID. It is very insecure, and the big problem is it can be read without the user even knowing this has taken place. On a far more practical scale, a hacker would read your national ID card and “clone” the number, thereby assuming your identity as far as border security people are concerned. Remember them? They’re the folks that let in 19 middle eastern males that killed over 3,000 Americans.

Another concern is the tracking capability this gives the government. As we’ve seen in recent years, America has become a surveillance society. If it is so easy to install expensive cameras to robo-ticket vehicle owners, how difficult will it be to place far less costly RFID readers throughout a city and track Americans? Couple this with a REAL ID being required for anything as determined by the DHS Secretary and you have a formula for the death of liberty.

That is how REAL ID affects your liberty in the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill. It’s up to all of us to stop this hidden agenda now before things get any worse. Having liberty lobbyists at the state legislature is a good defense against dangerous federal overreaches such as these. You can donate online to help us in this effort.

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Our lobbying team consists of John Hallman and Paul Henry. It is essential to have a voice in our legislature 12 months a year, as the legislative process starts NOW. If you wait too long on an issue, it will pass you by.

About John

John Hallman is an active, longtime voice in all levels of Florida politics and is a veteran of advocating issues of liberty in the Florida legislature. John also has served as the State Director for FreedomWorks; the pro-free market organization as well as Deputy Director of Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse. While in Tallahassee, John has represented such groups as Florida Taxpayers Union, Cut Property Taxes Now, The Second Amendment Coalition of Florida and The Florida Campaign for Liberty. Besides his work in Tallahassee, John also serves on the Leadership Team of the Liberty Empowerment Institute. John teaches activists training schools, is a frequent guest on radio talk shows and has written numerous articles promoting the cause of individual liberty.

About Paul

Paul is a retired Florida trooper, having worked not only as a trooper but also traffic homicide investigator, line supervisor, and investigative Lieutenant prior to his retirement. Paul is the founder of the citizen group Floridians Against REAL ID and has been an outspoken advocate of constitutional government at the local, state, and federal level. Paul has the ability to read and understand legislative terms and language and perform in-depth analysis on issues such as red light cameras. Paul was the author of two bills for the 2012 Florida Legislature, a REAL ID repeal and the Florida Motorist Rights Restoration Act. As the Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs with the Florida Campaign for Liberty, Paul was responsible for finding RFID chip enabling language in a 2012 highway safety bill and getting the bill’s sponsor to remove all of the language. In 2013 with just a part-time effort, Paul’s efforts prevented Floridians from being saddled with automated school bus enforcement cameras.


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