ADC Press Release:
Over 40 Groups Announce Anti-National REAL ID Public Comment Campaign
Washington, DC | May 1, 2007 | www.adc.org | Today, forty-two organizations representing trans-partisan, nonpartisan, privacy, consumer, civil liberty, civil rights, and immigrant organizations have joined to launch a national campaign to solicit public comments to stop the nation’s first national ID system-REAL ID. The deadline to submit comments is 5pm on Tuesday, May 8.
The groups joining in the anti-REAL ID campaign are concerned about the increased threat of counterfeiting and identity theft, lack of security to protect against unauthorized access to the document’s machine readable content, increased cost to taxpayers, diverting of state funds intended for homeland security, increased costs for obtaining a license or state issued ID card, the possibility of profiling on the basis of national origin and/or race, and because the REAL ID would create a false belief that it is secure and unforgeable.
This effort builds on the momentum of broad opposition to the REAL ID in the nation. Montana has become the fifth state, following Maine, Idaho, Arkansas, and Washington, to prohibit cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in implementing the REAL ID national identification system.
Under the Act, states and the federal government would share access to a vast national database that could include images of birth certificates; marriage licenses; divorce papers; court ordered separations; medical records; and detailed information on the name, date of birth, race, religion, ethnicity, gender, address, telephone, e-mail address, social security numbers for more than 240 million with no requirements or controls on how this database might be used. Many may not have the documents required to obtain a REAL ID, or they may face added requirements based on arbitrary decisions made by DMV employees.
The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5 p.m. EST on May 8, 2007. To take action, submit comments against the fundamentally flawed national identification scheme, under Docket No. 2006-0030.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is the largest non-sectarian and non-partisan Arab-American grassroots civil rights organization, is strongly opposed to REAL ID. Carol Khawly, ADC Director of Legal Advocacy, said “As a community, we fear that the REAL ID card will be used by different government agencies as well as private parties to profile individuals who look foreign or who have a foreign name. The Act negatively impacts the rights of the Arab-American community as well as other immigrant communities, seriously affects individual privacy rights, and promotes unjust discrimination and profiling on the basis of ethnicity and religion.”
Online: Through the public submission portal at: http://www.regulations.gov
Or use one of the more user-friendly sites found at the following web addresses:
To Fax Comments to the Department of Homeland Security: Electronic Frontier Foundation: http://action.eff.org/site/Advocacy?id=287, Privacy Coalition http://www.privacycoalition.org/stoprealid/sampletext.html or send a letter to the agency at Fax 1-866-466-5370.
Department of Homeland Security
Attn: NAC 1-12037
Washington, DC 20528
ALL COMMENTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY UNTIL 5:00 PM EST ON MAY 8, 2007.
FYI: OTHER ANTI-REAL ID ONLINE RESOURCES:
Liberty Coalition http://www.libertycoalition.net/issues/national-id-0
Privacy Activism http://stoprealidnow.blogspot.com/
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse http://www.privacyrights.org/ar/real_id_act.htm
LIST OF ALL OF THE GROUPS SUPPORTING THIS CAMPAIGN
1. American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
2. American Library Association
3. American Policy Center
4. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
5. Association of American Physicians & Surgeons
6. Bill of Rights Defense Committee
7. Center for Digital Democracy
8. Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
9. Citizen Outreach Project.
10. Citizens Against Government Waste
11. Common Cause
12. Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility
13. Consumer Action
15. Electronic Frontier Foundation
16. Electronic Privacy Information Center
17. Fairfax County Privacy Council
18. Give Me Back My Rights Coalition
19. Government Accountability Project
20. Gun Owners of America
21. Immigrant Workers Union
22. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
23. Liberty Coalition
24. National Center for Transgender Equality
25. National Council of Jewish Women
26. National Council of La Raza
27. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
28. National Immigration Law Center
30. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
31. Patient Privacy Rights Foundation
32. Privacy Activism
33. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
34. Privacy Times
35. Republican Liberty Caucus
36. Rutherford Institute, The
37. The Arc of the United States United Cerebral Palsy
38. The Multiracial Activist
39. US Bill of Rights Foundation
40. Virginia Citizens Defense League
41. Virginia Gun Owners Coalition
42. World Privacy Forum