ACLU Urges Michigan Residents to Support Anti-REAL ID Legislation

May 17, 2007

DETROIT -- The American Civil Liberties Union today welcomed the introduction of two state resolutions to oppose REAL ID authored by Representative John Espinoza (D-Croswell) and Senator Gilda Jacobs (D-Huntington Woods). The ACLU also urges Michigan residents to support the resolutions by calling their legislators.

The Real ID Act was adopted as part of a must pass military appropriations bill. Real ID federalizes the design, issuance and management of state driver’s licenses, creating a uniform identity card and database tantamount to the first national ID card. Although passed on a national level, REAL ID is an unfunded mandate that is estimated to cost up to $23 billion nationwide and up to $200 million over five years in Michigan alone.

Real ID will require Michigan to re-enroll and verify 7.7 million drivers license/ID holders and those who no longer have original identification documents including their birth certificate will be unable to obtain a REAL ID. Many seniors, domestic violence survivors, adopted children, disaster survivors and homeless people will be at risk. Those who do not have a REAL ID will be unable to use their driver’s licenses for any activity that requires federally accepted identification, such as boarding airplanes or entering federal buildings.

In January, the state of Maine passed the first resolution rejecting participation in the Real ID scheme. More than 32 other states and more than 600 organizations nationwide, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, National Governors Association, American Conservative Union, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and others, oppose REAL ID.

To read more about the REAL ID Act, go to www.realnightmare.org

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