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National ID May Have Killed Immigration Bill 481

Posted by Zonk
from the choose-your-battles-carefully dept.
News.com reports that the immigration reform bill bouncing around in the Senate for the last few weeks has finally been defeated. The site speculates that, perhaps, one of the reasons it was finally defeated was a measure intended to expand the use of Real ID cards. If passed, the bill would have effectively turned the Real ID system into a National ID card. "The American Civil Liberties Union, another longtime foe of Real ID, said the Real ID requirements were a 'poison pill that derailed this bill, and any future legislation should be written knowing the American people won't swallow it.' Another section of the immigration bill would have given $1.5 billion to state officials to pay for Real ID compliance. Even if the immigration bill is goes nowhere, however, the Real ID Act is still in effect. It says, starting on May 11, 2008, Americans will need a federally-approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service." As we've discussed before, several states have rebelled against the implementation of Real ID.
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National ID May Have Killed Immigration Bill

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  • papers please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tempestdata (457317) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:18PM (#19682509)
    Why does that ring a bell?
    • by timmarhy (659436)
      america, land of the not so free.
      • Re:papers please (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @08:05PM (#19683627)
        It always brings to mind the tale of Joe Foss. Joe was once prevented from boarding a plane because he had an unacceptabe metal object in his personal possesion.
        The security guard, with limited command of english explained to this winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor why that very piece of metal was a security threat in today's world. As Joe had almost laid down his life to preserve such "freedoms" he was a good citizen, and missed his flight... Freedom. it was a nice thing once. now, its a pencil push away....
    • How Cliché (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DumbSwede (521261) <slashdotbin@hotmail.com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:34PM (#19683303) Homepage Journal
      A majority of American's are against illegal immigration. A majority of American's are against profiling. So what alternative do you propose to identify legitimate citizens from illegal aliens? Your papers analogies is actually rather weak as a national ID only identifies you are a legal US Citizen. Whereas the point of "papers" in the past was to show where citizens had permission to move to and from and were checked frequently at checkpoints. The police would only be able to ask for it when there is clear evidence of crime. It wouldn't be required to be on your person, you just would for convenience like your driver's license to confirm your identity when needed.

      My wife is from China, and while they don't have papers they have to carry around with them, they are not free to just pick up an live wherever they wish. I really doubt this will come to pass even with a National ID.

      People always trot out these objections based on knee jerk emotional reactions to abuses in the past. The proposed boarder along our Mexican border gets similar jeers although the reason for its need is exactly the opposite of the reason for the Berlin Wall.

      I for one would concentrate on protecting our Freedom of Speech rights (for which you are entitled to your opinion in this) and challenge to you suggest a feasible alternative that safeguards our borders, cuts down on illegal immigration, and possible terrorist activity. I don't live my life in fear of terrorism, but as the husband of Chinese national who has played by the rules and lived apart from my wife for TWO YEARS, I really do chafe at proposals to give illegals a faster easier way in than for those of us playing by the rules.

      Maybe without a National ID we will never have another major successful terrorist attack, but I guarantee we will have such an ID in the wake of one.
      • Mod Parent Up (Score:5, Insightful)

        by loganrapp (975327) <loganrapp@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @08:08PM (#19683653)
        People who do citizenship legitimately are practically being shit on because a group of people want to jump the line.


        Yes, we need those people to work the farms, the low-wage pay. But we need the ones who go through the paperwork and years of waiting and struggle just as much, if not more than those who just follow where the work is.

      • I'm not sure that the objections to the border fence and RealID are the same, or are really being objected to by the same people.

        At least that I've seen, a lot of people seem to be against RealID, while also being supportive of robust enforcement of our immigration laws. They (and I include myself in this camp) want our immigration laws enforced, but want it enforced in ways that don't impose upon and potentially make criminals out of many legitimate citizens who don't want to be forced to carry around "papers" all the time, or have to show them to any official on command. People want our immigration law enforced at our borders, with possible incursions 'inland' to attempt to remedy (by which I mean, deport) people who are known to be here illegally.

        But in general I think that the two aren't hand in hand. I don't really understand the objections to the border wall, since it seems like a totally unremarkable and obvious solution when you've got people walking across that shouldn't be walking across (I also think that putting the military down there is an obvious solution, too, since defending the nation's borders is a totally legitimate use for the military -- why is it OK to use our military to defend some other country's borders and not our own?). My personal suspicion there is that the opposition is pragmatic rather than philosophical -- there are a lot of agribusiness lobbies that depend on illegal immigrants and don't want anything that makes the labor supply tighter, and a robust border defense would do that. Also, Bush seems to be almost comically cozy with the Mexican President, and the Mexicans obviously don't want any U.S. border defenses, because illegal workers in the 'States are a major source of income for Mexico. (But why we should really care about that is beyond me. Last time I checked, Mexico didn't have a seat in the Senate.)

        At any rate, I think it's not at all hypocritical to be against the internal borders that Real ID would create, while also supporting firm control over our external borders, both to the north and south.
      • Re:How Cliché (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Somnus (46089) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @11:31PM (#19685295)
        The 9/11 terrorists were legitimate visa holders; the Oklahoma City terrorists were born-and-raised American citizens. How would RealID prevent another major terrorist attack?

        As for illegal immigration, the major problem is that citizens of our poor neighbors to the south have great incentives to come up here: gov't benefits (e.g., schooling for children) and readily available jobs. The first can be solved, by giving gov't benefits only to green card holders; the latter, not so easily.

        Finally, RealID is indeed a disaster for 4th amendment rights, the right to assemble, states' rights, and protection from private data warehousing. There is no reason for the US federal gov't to track the movements of citizens, or Constitutional power to assert a national identity system. Social security numbers have already been abused.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Xonstantine (947614)
          As for illegal immigration, the major problem is that citizens of our poor neighbors to the south have great incentives to come up here: gov't benefits (e.g., schooling for children) and readily available jobs. The first can be solved, by giving gov't benefits only to green card holders; the latter, not so easily.

          Not true. The way to dry up the jobs for illegals is to fine and imprison the folks that hire illegals. These laws already exist on the books. All they have to do is enforce it. Enforceme
  • by Otter (3800) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:18PM (#19682517) Journal
    1) The issue that killed the bill was amnesty, not Real ID. I don't believe I've seen a single story outside of here even mention the Real ID issue, and anyone who thinks that was the dealbreaker is either dishonest or delusional.

    2) Aside from point 1), this makes no sense. The immigration bill collapsed, the Real ID is going through and that somehow proves that Real ID is politically untenable?!?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      I think amnesty is a misused word here, because the penalties for being here illegally don't go away. Amnesty is total forgiving of debt / crime, but the immigration bill has a very steep fine that I think is impossible to pay on a typical illegal immigrant's wages. In short, I really don't think this illegal immigration bill changes anything other than thicken the law books, so I really don't understand why there's a tug of war on this, except to be a distraction from actually doing anything useful.

      It's
    • Here's an interesting tidbit - the election is coming up. Candidates are talking about issues. How many times, though, have I heard about a candidate being asked where they stand with respect to this issue? Or the insidious patriot act? I'd say the constitutional freedom and the integrity of our government trump just about every other issue they could talk about, especially since they same to talk about the same things every damn election.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:20PM (#19682527)
    the 9/11 terrorists had legitimate ID's.

    This does nothing to stop terrorists or terrorism.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aqua OS X (458522)
      Bah. As a guy who develops federal security solutions I can say this much, you have a hell of a lot more options if you undertake aggressive measures to know the names and backgrounds of people who are within a particular perimeter.

      That said, I'm not trying to advocate Real ID. I'm not a fan of the concept, I'd rather see more relaxed national security measures combined with a policy keeping your d*cks out of international hornets nests.

      Yet, just because the old system was vulnerable doesn't mean an overly
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hemp (36945)
      In fact According to the March 28, 2002 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Robert Thibadeau, director of Carnegie Mellon's Internet Security labratory, says that "the 19 terrorists on Sept. 11 were holding 63 state driver's licenses for identification."

      http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic _immigrationissuecentersc582/ [fairus.org]
  • NOT true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mozkill (58658) <austenjt&gmail,com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:20PM (#19682541) Homepage Journal
    The immigration bill failed because of the number of citizens who made noise against the bill. My guess is that more than a few senators were scared into voting differently than they otherwise would have. For now, the people get their way.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Kreigaffe (765218)
      Of course, you're right, but officially that's not what happened.

      Officially, they had to vote against the bill because of Real ID.. not because americans don't want to essentially annex as much of the mexican population as can make their way across the border.

      don't want to upset the hispanic population. they're the fastest growing minority!
      • Re:NOT true (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Original Replica (908688) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:33PM (#19682691) Journal
        Which again raises the question, of why there is more than one issue per bill. It's easy to see how RealID and immigration would be connected, but there is no honest reason to attach the two together. That can be said for most things attached to most bills as they make the rounds through the hallowed halls of Congress. How can we as mere voters, get Congress to pass a law allowing only one line item per bill?
        • by Adambomb (118938)
          Considering how long these processes take, do you REALLY want to add administrative overhead to it?

          Tough call personally, as I sure do not know any metrics on redundancies due to failed bills that had unrelated items tacked into them nor for how much overhead each new process would create. Logically it seems to be a situation where you dont want to have the encapsulating bureaucratic crap before and after the vote process for each and every possible line item, but government is rarely logical so I could eas
        • Putting unrelated items into a single bill is a way to express deal-making within the Congress.

          For example...

          if congress-critter Jack is pro-A, mildly-anti-B, anti-C
          if congress-critter Jill is mildly-anti-A, pro-B, pro-C

          Then the bill enacting {A, B} is a valid compromise for them.

          Suppose they expressed this negotiated compromise as two bills (bill #1 = A, bill #2 = B) rather than one. Then after the first bill was passed, whichever congress-critter got his way would then probably betray the
      • Yes,

        Finally a statement that makes sense.

        Mod parent up.
  • by Elemenope (905108) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:21PM (#19682555)

    I'm sorry, but this bit of the synopsis confused me:

    If passed, the bill would have effectively turned the Real ID system into a National ID card.

    I was under the impression that the Real ID system all by itself was intended as a de facto national ID card. What am I missing?

    • by megaditto (982598) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @08:17PM (#19683717)
      REAL ID bill just specifies which IDs can be used for federal identification purposes (board a plane, collect certain funds/post bail, enter certain federal buildings). If you don't need to fly, cross the border, or post bail, you don't have to get this kind of ID.

      With this bill, everybody would be de facto required to have such an ID or be jailed and deported. With this bill, nobody could get a job, marry, or vote without a REAL ID. Again, to merely live here, you would have to get an ID of the approved list.
  • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ushering05401 (1086795) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:21PM (#19682557) Journal
    I am so jaded about my countrymen that the following quote actually made me chuckle:

    "The American Civil Liberties Union, another longtime foe of Real ID, said the Real ID requirements were a 'poison pill that derailed this bill, and any future legislation should be written knowing the American people won't swallow it."

    The emphasis is mine.

    *sigh*

    Regards.
  • by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79 @ g m a i l . com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:24PM (#19682599) Homepage
    I'm not saying we need a national ID system, by any means.

    What I don't understand is why people get so up in arms about requiring people to prove that they are eligible for the services for which they are applying.

    Why do so many people advocate the abuse of services that could otherwise go to deserving, eligible American citizens?
    • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:37PM (#19682725) Homepage

      What I don't understand is why people get so up in arms about requiring people to prove that they are eligible for the services for which they are applying.

      Applicants do need to prove eligibility, there is no question about it. But the ID does not prove eligibility. It simply shows, who you are (authentication), rather than what you are entitled to (authorization).

      And there are many other ways of proving, you are, who you say you are — requiring the Real ID is simply a way of twisting your arm into obtaining it.

      The grave "Papers, please" fear-mongering is a bit overdone — plenty of reasonably free countries require citizens to carry IDs, and even America's States often require it for things like buying alcohol. But I dislike the Federal ID as well...

      • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:24PM (#19683213) Homepage Journal
        The grave "Papers, please" fear-mongering is a bit overdone

        Is it? When you can be placed on a "no fly" list for any reason, can't get off it, and can't even see it?

        Is it? When you can be placed on a list [washingtonpost.com] that forbids anyone to sell you a car, open a bank account, hire you, and more, without any sort of judicial oversight or other legal process?

        Is it? When your personal choices about what you can do to yourself, and with consenting partners, are the subject of draconian laws designed to make you comply with the personal opinions of others? When the use of a sex toy can land you jail? When the display of a banner at a parade can get you sanctioned?

        I don't think so. I think privacy has become the last bastion of freedom, and there isn't a lot of it left as is. RealID is even worse than the "papers please" people think it is, because the country's treatment of free, law-abiding citizens - not to mention its treatment of those who have paid their debt to society for previous transgressions - has descended nearly to the level of the mid 20th century Soviet Union, and it is getting worse.

    • by Kadin2048 (468275) *

      What I don't understand is why people get so up in arms about requiring people to prove that they are eligible for the services for which they are applying.

      Well, I strongly oppose Real ID, and I certainly don't oppose "requiring people to prove that they are eligible for the services for which they are applying."

      You should absolutely, without question, have to prove eligibility before you receive any form of government service. However, I fail to see how getting on a bus or train or plane, operated by a private carrier, paid for out of my own pocket, is a "government service." I'm not asking for a government service there, and I don't think I should have to h

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kohath (38547)
      Why do so many people advocate the abuse of services...

      several reasons:

      1. For profit or gain.
      2. For the children (or similar emotional, irrational nonsense). Example: "Papers please arguments"
      3. Groupthink. It's the groupthink-approved position.
      4. Racism: They want folks who are a minority to be allowed to get away with anything they want and minorities can't be held to any standards. IDs will make that harder.
      5. Some folks also think privacy is some kind of inherent right, like the right to free speech,
  • I may be stupid, but I just don't get it.

    Even if the immigration bill is goes nowhere, however, the Real ID Act is still in effect. It says that, starting on May 11, 2008, Americans will need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service.

    What could possibly be bad about that (except administrational costs)? I don't live in USA, but I assume that you would need some sort of ID for all these things today as well (surely you can't collect social security without providing some sort of proof of who you are and that you actually are entitled to it?). What's the difference between having a federally approved ID card instead of just a state approved?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordPhantom (763327)
      Perhaps we have more (not saying much) trust in our local governments than the Federal one?
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:36PM (#19682709) Homepage Journal
      The fact that you are required to show ID to travel by air so they can check their "no fly" list and deny you the right to travel to a protest rally is proof enough of the danger of any ID card. Next is biometrics so you don't even need an ID.. they're already doing it to international visitors. And, yeah, I guess eventually they'll relax those laws that say a cop can't stop you for no reason and they'll be free to put up checkpoints on the roads. Around then you'll have a "no drive" list.

      But hey, don't listen to the warnings.. just keep letting your country turn into a totalitarian regime.
      • "I guess eventually they'll relax those laws that say a cop can't stop you for no reason and they'll be free to put up checkpoints on the roads."

        Ever hear of DUI checkpoints? Bye bye 4th Amendment!

        But then, those occur without a national ID, so I'm not really sure what one has to do with the other.
      • Technically, while you have the 'right' to travel by air, the airline is under no obligation to sell you a ticket or allow you into an airplane if they deem you a security risk or for any other reason. Remember that airlines are businesses, so they can do whatever they please (within the rules, of course).

        If you want to buy your own plane, get licensed as a pilot, and go through whatever legal process is necessary to fly it around, then you can claim you have the right to travel by air. Of course, if you d
        • by QuantumG (50515)
          It's not the airline refusing you air travel, it's the TSA.. no matter who they get to do it, the no fly list is compiled an maintained by the government and yes, many people have been denied access to air travel because their destination was a protest rally.

          The fact that it is so hard to get a pilot's license and low cost aircraft have been denied flight approval over the years is an even bigger travesty.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kadin2048 (468275) *

          Every California person looking to get a Driver's License will get fingerprinted, and I imagine a number of other states do the same. Every American that wants a passport also gets fingerprinted and has to show documents such as his/her Birth Certificate, etc.

          No -- absolutely not true. I can't say that California is unique in fingerprinting drivers-license applicants, but it's definitely not widespread. I've never been fingerprinted for anything aside from a Concealed Carry Permit for a handgun. [1] (I have a suspicion that the fingerprinting requirement in California has to do with the number of illegal/undocumented/bad-IDed workers they have there, and they see fingerprints as the only practical way to keep people from using forged papers. Good reason not to

          • Also, I don't know where you got the fingerprinting requirement for a Passport, but that's likewise not true. Again, you need to prove both identity and citizenship, but I've had a Passport for years and I've never been fingerprinted.

            My apologies. My wife recently had to go renew her passport and I was under the impression she had to provide a thumbprint, but she didn't (I called her to check).
            However, there are at least 8 states that require fingerprints for general driver's licenses (including Georgia, Texas, Colorado, etc), and it's a requirement for commercial driver's licenses for hazardous materials (according to AAMVA.org).

    • by Otter (3800) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:39PM (#19682739) Journal
      I may be stupid, but I just don't get it.

      It's not really rational. The US has this deeply embedded association of mandatory, national ID cards with Hitler or Stalin. Obviously universally accepted identifiers are necessary, but people are willing to accept driver's licenses (state-issued, and not theoretically mandatory) and social security numbers (not theoretically IDs), just not a Mandatory National ID Card like every other country in the world has.

      Every country has its distinctive quirks; this is one of them.

      • by olman (127310)
        Erhm. Just that you have single unified national ID card does not necessarily follow that it's mandatory to have. For example, Finland has national ID card but I've never used it since I got a driver's licence as it's universally accepted ID and I don't want to carry more useless cards around than I have to.

        There's nobody twisting your arm to get The National ID card, passport or social security card with pic will do as well.

        Strange that nobody brought the UK ID scheme into this yet. On the other hand, they
        • by Otter (3800)
          By "mandatory" I don't mean that you have to carry it around with you, just that every citizen and resident is routinely assigned a national identifier. (That is the case, right? If not, amend the "every other country in the world" in my original comment, which wan't intended to be literally true anyway.)

          If anything, you're illustrating my point: the existence of a national ID card (in this case an RFID card) doesn't automatically lead to the Gestapo hauling you off to prison.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by feepness (543479)
        Mandatory National ID Card like every other country in the world has.

        Couple issues here:

        1. Most states in the US are larger than some of the countries you are speaking of. Hell, a few cities are.
        2. Most of these states already issue their own id.
    • It supersedes States Rights -- which are the issuers of most IDs and permits.

      Creates a national Database from which to blacklist people.

      We already have laws that can deal with the Immigration problem. Besides, any employer properly paying SS, taking out Withholding and Employee taxes is going to know if they have an illegal or not. So we don't have "illegal workers" sponging off the government -- everyone who works adds value, and every HONEST employer is providing TAXes.

      We have a criminal employer problem
  • by sithkhan (536425) <sithkhan@gmail.com> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:26PM (#19682615)
    Anyone who has been following this issue for the past six weeks knows good and well that the audacity of the elected officials to ignore, debase, and belittle their constituents created the massive ground swell of dissenting voters. To claim that the Nation ID idea caused the defeat of this bill is ludicrous. But if the blurb had commented on talk radio and conservatives, this wouldn't be Slashdot, now would it?

    Conservative, liberal, and moderate voters all thought this was a poor idea - not some minor amendment to this stinking legislation.
    ---
    but make sure that the last line
    Generated by SlashdotRndSig [snop.com] via GreaseMonkey [mozdev.org]
  • by Swift Kick (240510) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:29PM (#19682657)
    While I can understand why privacy advocates would want to make this one of the 'main reasons' why the Immigration Bill failed, it was really not much of a deal-breaker. Sure, maybe some of the senators' votes were partially influenced by this, but there were literally dozens of amendments that were far more important which were the deal-breakers, such as:

    1) Requiring that illegal immigrants go back to their country of origin to apply for the Z visa
    2) Requiring that illegal immigrants had no felonies on their record
    3) Requiring a lengthier background check, rather than the default 24-hour 'status adjustment' if the background check wasn't finished

    The discussion has been very heated, particularly here in California, where talk show hosts have been rallying their listeners for the past few months to contact our local senators and pretty much tell them that their job is on the line if they passed this bill. California is probably the one state where illegal immigration is pretty much out of control, and the public is pretty passionate about it, because we live with it and see it first-hand.
    Trust me, the National ID card was barely mentioned in any of the discussions here; enforcement of the existing laws and tougher penalties for businesses that knowingly hire illegals were the main arguments.

    Honestly, I wish that Senator Kennedy moved to California and lived here for a good 6 months, so he could see how out-of-control things really are. Maybe then he'd get back in touch with reality and would stop his ignorant rhetoric about "Gestapo tactics" and whatnot.
    • by ErikZ (55491) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:51PM (#19682873)
      Everyone was flipping out over this bill. But I didn't hear a single person bring up "National ID". In fact, until now I didn't realize it was part of it.

      The reasons I was against the bill:

      400 pages is a *lot* of loopholes. If you're going to make an enforceable immigration law, it needs to be short and sweet. Which brings up...
      The non-enforcement of current immigration laws on the books. We're supposed to believe you're going to enforce the new laws, after you drag your feet on the current ones?
       
    • Agreed. I used to be pretty far to the left (and as I've grown older and more mature, have moved towards being a moderate). No matter what my political views were though, Senator Kennedy always came off as a douchebag.
    • Why is it a problem to bar those that committed felonies when they were here illegally? I don't understand why that's a deal breaker. Is the smog getting to you guys?
  • by jshriverWVU (810740) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:31PM (#19682679)
    from what we already do? Personally I think it would be easier to carry around a national ID card instead of carrying my License, SS card, Birth certificate, etc.

    • It is unconstitutional for the federal government to have a national ID. No where in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution does it authorize the federal government to require a national ID.
      • Something is only unconstitutional if a 5 of a certain group of 9 people say it is. Look at the history, how many times have 5 of 9 been wrong?
  • by ErikTheRed (162431) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @06:34PM (#19682699) Homepage
    Right here in the US. In fact, nearly all countries have a nationally issued, highly standardized ID that's used in all sorts of high-security situations, banking transactions,etc. It's called a passport. Everyone should have one anyway. Easy solution, and doesn't require one single new thing (and yes, I know, there's presently a backlog on US passport applications but This Too Will Pass).

    Also, as has been mentioned earlier, the ACLU trying to spin this as a rejection of RealID is stupid beyond belief (this got posted as a story how???). The right hates is because there's too much amnesty, the left hates it because there's not enough amnesty, and most of the people in the middle hate it because it took a reasonably good idea and turned it into an unprincipled pork-fest as senators were bought and sold with pet projects in their districts. In other words, politics as usual.
    • by cdrguru (88047) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @08:50PM (#19684071) Homepage
      Lots of people do not have sufficient identification to just walk down and get a passport.

      Do you have a certified copy of your birth certificate? Most people do not. Do you know where you would get one if you needed one? And, most importantly, could you get one in a month if you had to have it?

      Worse, if everyone was getting a passport instead of the incredibly small fraction of people that actually do have one, how would the overwhelmed State Department validate all those birth certificates and such? Easy answer - they wouldn't.

      Why they wanted to make Driver's Licenses "validated" was to farm the work out to the states and hope for the best. Today just about anybody can get a state photo ID card that says almost anything they want it to. Legal or illegal means nothing. Don't speak English? Here is the card in Spanish, Polish, Russian and a few other languages.

      Unfortunately, right now there is nothing that is a valid piece of identification in the US that most people have. A Driver's License is a joke. Nobody has a passport.
  • The fact that this bill was even proposed shows you how out of touch most of our elected officials are. They dont really care about you just about keeping there jobs. All of the Presidential candidates look the same on both sides of the aisle, except Ron Paul, someone who has actually read the Constitution.

    Revolution is coming
    • by Rakishi (759894)

      Revolution is coming

      Well you go on thinking that. Just like the socialists, the communists, the hippies and all the other such groups. No one cares. No one cares about all the abuse by the FBI, CIA, president and so on that has been going on for decades (see Nixon). It used to be that almost anything was allowed because of the communists lurking behind every corner, now its because of the terrorists or the pedophiles or god knows what group.

      I doubt you'd want a revolution anyway, the result of it wouldn't be a more democratic

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:08PM (#19683053) Homepage
    I don't like the idea of national ID either, but I do think that non citizens in this country should probably have to have something like this.

    The immigration bill died because Americans literally melted down the Senate's phone system because they don't want to grant amnesty now for border enforcement later since it's well known that the government has NO interest whatsoever in doing this.

    The support for the legalization of criminal illegal aliens comes both from the far left (who sees a low skilled, uneducated underclass they can entice into a voting block with welfare programs) and the far right (who sees cheap labor that they can use to artificially depress wages). Polls show that 80% of the country opposes it.

  • The immigration bill was bad bad bad.. If the also bad national ID clause is what killed it.. great!

    What? You want to see my papers?
  • Kudos to the ACLU for striking while the brand is hot to USE this moment to push an agenda. Again Congress has proven that doing nothing for the wrong reason is easier than doing something for the right reason. Huh?
  • by chromozone (847904) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:21PM (#19683187)
    I hear a lot of people taking credit for the demise of the immigration bill, and many people and groups did take issue with it over one provison or another. However I think the main reason it went down was because many people sharply realised the government is broken and not only NOT looking out for their interests but it has outright contempt for them. People have been dismayed that after the WTC attack and the Iraq war, border security remains relaxed in the extreme. Republican and Democrat voters were both against this bill, and when the vast majority of people were told their concerns were "secondary" if not selfish it became clear special interests were leading the government and not the people. A key element was that nobody believed the government would actually enforce any of the provisions included in the bill since they have such a miserable record of it in the past (and now its clear the governement can't even process passport requests or protect people from contaminated foods and they even hope to do a good job of that). With illegal immigration its been clear the powers that be don't want to stop it at all, and that the will of the people was seen seen as a hindrance that needs to be bulldozered if it can't be deceived. The main factor in the defeat of the bill was that many voters finally had the realisation that their government has kicked them to the curb. Lying and empty promises won't work anymore.
  • RealID wasn't even a consideration. The American people (including me) calling/emailing their Senators and overwhelming both the phone and email system caused this bill to come crashing down.

    This "Grand Bargain" was great for those seeking el-cheapo workers aka (Corporations)and great for Democrats looking to purchase a new hispanic voting block. I just don't understand how so many can place greed over proper management of our country and culture. I am not opposed to immigration but opening the floodg
  • by COredneck (598733) * on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:24PM (#19683223)
    Kind of funny that I don't quite agree totally with the Republican or Democrat side on these issues.

    I am in favor of cracking down on illegal immigration - not here legally, leave the country and go back home and apply to immigrate here. However, Real ID is not needed and it is a de-facto National ID card, plain and simple. There is no place for it here in the USA. There is no need for linking driver databases or the Tri-National Driver License Agreement [wikipedia.org]. The Real ID should be repealed and anyone and everyone should Contact Congress [visi.com] and demand its repeal and do it while the Democrats control Congress. Rather than having laws that curtail civil liberties of US citizens, we need to first enforce the laws on the books instead of the typical attitude of looking the other way. Each time the gov't has a shortcoming of enforcing their laws, they pass more laws and we citizens get punished for it. This vicious cycle needs to end.

    On the legal immigration issue, I have expressed interest in leaving the USA such as go live in New Zealand. However, I would do ths the legal way though. I went there after Christmas for vacation and when I went through immigration, my passport was stamped with a 3 month visitor permit with an expiration 3 months after the date of the stamp which is the arrival date. The stamp mentioned that if I was in NZ after 3 months (past the expiration date), I was subject to being deported from the country. If I wanted to be there longer than 3 months, I would have to go to NZ immigration and ask for an extention of the permit. At that point, they would extend it or not. If not, I have to leave before the expiration date. Simple rules. It is something we should expect of those who visit the USA or any other country. BTW, the permit did not allow me to earn an income there. That is a different permit which takes paperwork to get. I am too old (older than 30) to get a Working Holiday Permit like many young people get such as college students and recent graduates.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @07:30PM (#19683263) Journal
    Unfortunately.

    Mexico's social infrastructure is underwritten by profits from PEMEX, Mexico's oil company. Unfortunately, PEMEX's largest oil field, Cantarell, is in massive decline, according to PEMEX's CEO. [rigzone.com]

    Based on a 1.9Mb/d consumption for Mexico, they will stop exporting oil in five years, say 2012... but, this would cut govt revenue around 7% per year, and shredding what little social infrastructure they have.

    The result?

    They will walk north.

    You think Mexican immigration is bad now? Wait until 2015. I wouldn't be surprised if the USgov set up a 100 yard free fire zone on the southern border, or, they simply let everyone in, and drive the wages in the US down to Mexican levels.

    RS

  • by dwater (72834) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @08:05PM (#19683619)
    > National ID May Have Killed Immigration Bill

    Shame it didn't kill Immigration George.
  • by mdarksbane (587589) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @11:52PM (#19685479)
    They're just looking for work to support their families and buy some booze and video games on weekends.

    ARREST THE BASTARDS THAT HIRE THEM.

    Some random latino looking for work isn't a threat to America. The American 'citizen' who is breaking the law and hiring him is directly betraying our laws and our people to save himself some cash. By definition, if Americans refuse to work in your job, you aren't offering enough money for it. That is how capitalism works, and it is the cheapskates hiring illegals who are driving down the living wage and options for advancement for the American poor.

    I'm fine with bringing anyone who wants over here to work - legally and for the same wage that I would get at that position, so they can compete on merit, and the price of labor doesn't get driven down. I used to work in construction, and every time just rich jackass complains about how the guys he hired to build his addition don't speak English and messed up his house, but he's hiring them back because "they're so darn cheap" I just want to spit.

    Of course, none of this will ever happen because half of Congress will get arrested or lose their gardeners.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      options for advancement for the American poor

      The American poor (with the exception of the homeless) have cable TV and an obesity problem. Compared to the Mexicans, they're fine. The Mexicans come here because they aspire to be poor by American standards (as opposed to Mexican standards) when they move back to Mexico.

  • by theillegalimmigrant (1121861) on Friday June 29, 2007 @01:38AM (#19686069)
    I knew that this bill was going to fail, I don't blame people for supporting Lou Dobbs, the thing here is that I'm not going to leave, no illegal will do that, as I said on a different post hunger is stronger than fear and there's no doubt in my mind that the problem will be worst because we have more of the same, no work verification, no more border agents, no wall, millions of people living, working and doing everything with different names, different ID'S , things will remain the same, I know that I'm doing something wrong but I don't have any other choice. Yes I had a job in Mexico but I was making 500 dollars a month for a full time job, not very nice!! I don't work on the fields and you will never find me outside of Home Depot. I work as an IT manager here in sillicon valley, and yes there are people with college degrees in computer sciences from a 5 year university like me illegally working. (why do you think that I read slashdot) So what am I going to do now?? The same, I will keep working and keep smiling, life it's too short to be worried Peace!!
  • by night_flyer (453866) on Friday June 29, 2007 @06:20AM (#19687111) Homepage
    "The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs." Ted Kennedy, 1965, in support of the Hart-Celler Act.

    "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this." Ted Kennedy, 1986, in support of the The Immigration Reform and Control Act

    "Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system." Ted Kennedy, 2007
  • Or maybe... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gleach1776 (1121947) on Friday June 29, 2007 @08:18AM (#19687569)
    Or maybe it was just the fact that the American public overwhelmingly resists granting amnesty to the 12 million people whose first action in the country was to snub the law and enter illegally, and the ass-clowns we've elected are concerned that this is a big enough issue to the voters that they feared for their political futures?

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