Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Campaign for Real ID, immigrant driver's license bill stalled


Lacking the votes, state Sen. Gil Cedillo agreed Monday to strip his signature bill of language that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain California driver's licenses.

Instead, a watered-down Senate Bill 60 was approved 13-0 by the Assembly Transportation Committee. The amended bill states only that it is intent of the Legislature to review provisions of the Federal Real ID Act of 2005.


Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, revealed the surprise decision during a hearing before the Assembly Transportation Committee on a broader measure drafted to comply with the federal Real ID Act's requirements for stricter identification standards for driver's license applicants.


The legislation had drawn sharp criticism from those opposed to providing licenses to illegal immigrants and from others who argued that the Real ID Act threatened privacy rights and would be too costly to implement.

A rider on a 2005 Iraq/Hurricane Katrina supplemental spending bill, the controversial Federal Real ID Act mandates that states standardize driver's licenses, creating a national ID card backed by a centralized database of aggregated personal records. In the event of a security breach, identity thieves would have the detailed information of 240 million citizens at their fingertips. This includes birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce papers, court ordered separatios, medical records and information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, email address and Social Security numbers of everyone with a driver's license.

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