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Real ID

May 4, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 17
Will the new driver's license law make Americans safer?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Sponsors say the Real ID Act will help states block the sale of fraudulent identification cards like these, confiscated from the store in Paterson, N.J., that sold fake IDs to two of the 9/11 hijackers.  (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
Sponsors say the Real ID Act will help states block the sale of fraudulent identification cards like these, confiscated from the store in Paterson, N.J., that sold fake IDs to two of the 9/11 hijackers. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Americans and their political leaders have long resisted the idea of a national ID card. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, finding out who was in the country illegally took on new urgency. Two years ago, Congress passed a law to toughen standards for issuing driver's licenses — the main form of national identification. But practical problems and philosophical objections are dogging the Real ID Act. Seven state legislatures have already voted against putting it into effect in its present form, and 25 others are considering opposition. Critics argue Real ID licenses will create red-tape nightmares for millions of citizens — without making them safer. Proponents say the new law is needed because in some states current license standards have weaknesses terrorists can exploit. Meanwhile, another debate is under way on whether to raise standards for issuing Social Security cards.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Immigration and Naturalization
Sep. 27, 2013  Border Security
Mar. 09, 2012  Immigration Conflict
Dec. 2010  Europe's Immigration Turmoil
Sep. 19, 2008  America's Border Fence
Feb. 01, 2008  Immigration DebateUpdated
May 04, 2007  Real ID
May 06, 2005  Illegal Immigration
Jul. 14, 2000  Debate Over Immigration
Jan. 24, 1997  The New Immigrants
Feb. 03, 1995  Cracking Down on Immigration
Sep. 24, 1993  Immigration Reform
Apr. 24, 1992  Illegal Immigration
Jun. 13, 1986  Immigration
Dec. 10, 1976  Illegal Immigration
Dec. 13, 1974  The New Immigration
Feb. 12, 1964  Immigration Policy Revision
Feb. 06, 1957  Immigration Policy
Nov. 27, 1951  Emigration from Europe
Feb. 09, 1945  Immigration to Palestine
Sep. 30, 1940  Forced Migrations
Apr. 18, 1939  Immigration and Deportation
Jul. 27, 1931  Deportation of Aliens
Mar. 12, 1929  The National-Origin Immigration Plan
Aug. 19, 1927  Immigration from Canada and Latin America
Nov. 01, 1926  Quota Control and the National Origin System
Jul. 12, 1924  Immigration and its Relation to Political and Economic Theories and Party Affiliation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Terrorism and Counterterrorism
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