Monday, October 11, 2010

REAL ID Act -- a fake "cure"

An old friend of mine complained on his facebook status that an uninsured "illegal immigrant" hit his car, and because he didn't have uninsured motorist coverage on his auto insurance, his bank account is now short a few thousand dollars (to fix his car). As I was thinking about his status update, I wasn't upset so much by the politcally incorrect usage of the term "illegal immigrant" as I was by what politicians and Congress have done to fix our immigration problem--by creatively distracting the American public into thinking that the government and politicans are not the source of the problem. Yet, politicians on both red and blue teams, around election time, try to pass blame to opposing parties until the issue itself is forgotten.

In 2005, President G.W. Bush signed a bill called the Real ID Act. The Real ID Act attempted to add slight reform in immigration laws, which is still considered ineffective at achieving its goals. Congress knew that reforming immigration laws would require a great deal of debate; a debate so heated that it could cost some polticians his/her career. Thus, it came up with a crazy idea... the Real ID Act.

One of the major changes in the law was that undocumented aliens (those without permenant resident status  or "green card" or citizenship status) were prohibited from receiving a state issued ID or driver's license. It also encouraged states to change security features on driver's license to prevent fraud. The end result was that states began to take away driver's license from undocumented aliens and foreign citizens without green cards.

Congress actually believed that these undocument aliens, who unlawfully entered the U.S. without visas, will actually stop driving if their driver's licenses were taken away. The end result is that we now have more unlicensed drivers on the road, and we have more unlicensed and uninsured drivers on the road.

Americans are rightfully enraged! We now have people who are here unlawfully plus they are breaking more laws by driving without a license and driving without insurance!? My friend was justified for being upset. I'm upset for him, but I'm upset at Congress.

Although the Real ID Act is being praised as being one step closer to securing our borders, common sense tells me that (1) it' not working and (2) it's hurting than it's helping.

21 comments:

  1. After reading your post I understand that this is a major problem, but i guess it is hard to stop something like that. Its a problem that is happening in every country and its not going to stop. Sometimes i think the government and politicians pass bills sucha as this one to make themselves feel better and try to fool others that they are making their country a better place!
    I hope u feel less upset about this issue Minh :)

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  2. Wow. I don't know what to say after reading this post. I wish we could do something to help.

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  3. Would you happen to know the circumstances for California? I was under the impression that just about anyone is able to obtain a driver's license regardless of permanent resident status/green card.

    I grew up near the Mexican/US border and several of my classmates in high school and junior high lied about their documentation and residence to attend my school while in reality, they actually lived in Mexico. They would just cross the border every day to get to school but they had no problems obtaining a driver's license?

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  4. aw, i could so relate with your friend! i was leaving my friend's apartment and this big van hit me bc he couldnt make a sharp turn when i was getting out to go onto the street. we both got out of the car and he was begging me not to call the cops bc he had no insurance and he has family in the car and blah blah blah. i felt bad for the dude bc i saw his family in the car watching so i just let him go... but it is true that there are a lot of ppl out there who dont have license. this is seriously not the first time it has happened to me. i totally agree that its hurting us..

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  5. Hmm, that's interesting. I think in Canada (or Ontario), people who are new to the country can just "upgrade" to our driver's license by taking a simple driving test. They don't need to start anew. I've never heard anything about licenses being confiscated. Judging from what you wrote, this Act sounds like it put a lot of drivers & pedestrians in danger...I don't follow American politics much, but has Obama touched upon this issue?

    xx The Little Dust Princess

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  6. @The Little Dust Princess Our immigration problems are ongoing. The only solution is an immigration law overhaul, which Obama talked about during his campaign but has done very little.

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  7. @Gjee California heavily enforces the Real ID Act. I don't know of many states that set up road blocks to check for driver's license other than California. We all know what these road blocks are really designed for... but we don't call it an immigration check point.

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  8. In my opinion, government has been screwing us all over for many many years, so it's expected of them to do things for no apparent reason. Where is the change that was promised by Obama?? *shrug*

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  9. Politicians these days should take up Sociology as well -___- Everyone knows that people will most likely keep doing what they're doing (probably even more frequently) if it was prohibited by the law. Basic psychology, people!
    I completely agree with you --- we are rightfully enraged.

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  10. *If the government is going to do that then its messing up this country even more. -__- I don't pay attention much to the laws out there but if no actions are being taken seriously for non-american citizen and those without green card then more troubles will come up and what will they do then? It would be nice to hear a real change out there. But those people who call themselves politics can only do so much. Who is to blame? The president? :/

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  11. What an interesting post. I had no idea there was a Real ID Act...was this passed into law? I live in Hawaii where there are many illegal immigrants all over the place and seeing this makes me think twice the next time I'm on the road.

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  12. hm thanks for bringing this to our attention, I hadn't heard of the Real ID Act before. I agree that it is a problem, but I honestly wouldn't know what the government should do to solve these problems. It's a complicated issue.

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  13. Your post provides a valid point regarding the Real ID Act, at the same time it's one of those situations where you won't be able to find a solution with just one act. Congress passed the Act in hopes of alleviate pending immigration concerns from the general public. Although the idea sounded great, there will always be leaks which can turn into floods. All they need to do now is pass another Act to counteract the increasing illegal activities. I personally believe the additional modifications of the licenses to prevent fraudulent dupes is a great idea.

    This just reminds me of the Hawley-Smoot Tarriff Act in 1929, which backfired and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. They thought it was a brilliant plan back then too, and it sure made many American's believe they were inching closer to finding a solution to their economic problems..but nope!

    Politics, go figure.

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  14. This "Real ID" act will not close the borders. If anything, they will feel the need to find alternative ways to get here. I'm outraged by Congress to, and have been for awhile. I think your post speaks volumes of how many Americans feel today. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I don’t know what to say I mean your friend has every right to be mad even I would be mad if an undocumented or documented person with no insurance hit my car. By taking undocumented peoples license away they only made thing worst because like you said not only are they driving without being insured now they are driving uninsured and without a license. Way to go Congress you guys have to do a better job at solving the problem because you only made it worst.

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  16. Someone here has probably already written what I would have said. But man, I wish I had you in my business law class. I bet everything I'm learning would be a breeze for you. For me, not so much.

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  17. hmmm immigration is such a touchy subject, but i think it needs to be handled very seriously and swiftly for reason like this.

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  18. It erks me so much that people from another country can get WAY better benefits as far as going to college and things like that, than US citizens... They get more money for being from another country... but what about the people that are FROM this country? Love that you brought this up!

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  19. I agree. Not having a driver's license won't actually STOP someone from driving. Btw, illegals have a way of getting driver's licenses, don't know how but they do. I think they know which states or which DMV offices are looser and they go there.

    I work in an area where there are a lot of illegal aliens and even though they can't get our state's DL (the operative word being "anymore", I don't know about before), they still have a license. The last one I saw was from Rhode Island.

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