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Appropriation Bill, including Real ID, Passes Senate 100-0

HR 1268 passed the Senate 100-0 on May 10, 2005 and is now on its way to the President for his signature which is guaranteed. The Real ID Bill was tacked onto the appropriation bill when it seemed that it might face some trouble in the Senate given it didn't pass the House with the majority that conservatives expected.
The $82 billion appropriation bill passed the Senate although Democrats did take the opportunity to attack republicans for tacking on the Real ID provisions.   The leading Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee,Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, went as far as saying that the immigration provisions (Real ID provisions) "were formulated behind closed doors by the House and Senate Republican leadership."

The changes that Real ID brings to immigration are sweeping and disturbing at best.  The impact Real ID will have on privacy and civil liberties will also be damaging.  States are faced with an unfunded mandate that will run at least $100 million but may cost over $500 million to implement.  Data security and validity will become critical issues and they are not easy issues by any means. Also determining how the individual provides the documentation needed both to establish their identity to obtain a license and then replace a lost license will be a challenge. 

CPSR has opposed this legislation since it first appeared as have many other organizations. See:,911,1002,9166

In the 36 hours before the Tuesday vote, people went to and used their online system to send over 20,000 faxes to senators opposing Real ID, so there was also some popular opposition to the bill as well.

For more information about the Real ID see:

Brief overview: CPSR's News Brief

Legal Analysis of the Bill for the Lay Person from Findlaw:The REAL ID Act: How It Violates U.S. Treaty Obligations, Insults International Law, Undermines Our Security, and Betrays Eleanor Roosevelt's Legacy

Overview and Links:Epic's National ID page

Created by lsmithlas
Contributors : Lisa Smith
Last modified May 10, 2005 10:41 PM

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