Oct 30 2007

A Hard Look at New York’s Real ID

Feature Stories | Published 30 Oct 2007, 10:00 am | Comments Off on A Hard Look at New York’s Real ID -

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GUEST: SJ Jung, President of the Young Korean American Service and Education Center in New York

New York Governor Elliot Spitzer announced a three tier driver’s license system last Saturday that includes compliance with the Federal Real ID act. Reversing an earlier “One Driver’s License for All,” proposal, the governor’s recent decision received sound condemnation from various groups. Real ID critics said that state driver’s licenses would be effectively turned into a national ID card through the plan. Concerns over privacy issues and implementation costs to the state were also cited. Though regulations for Real ID compliant licenses have not been finalized and the program is not set to be phased in nationally until 2013, Spitzer hopes to see his plan take effect next year. Aside from Real ID concerns the issue has also provoked both sides of the immigration debate. Anti-immigrant groups take issue with a third-tier driver’s license that would be made available to undocumented immigrants. On the contrary, pro-immigrant rights organizations believe that the third tier license would actually make undocumented immigrants more vulnerable by creating a list of such persons that the Federal Government would seek access to. A Joint statement released by the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium said the system would make undocumented immigrants, “vulnerable to discrimination and harassment.”

For more information, visit www.ykasec.org/ and nakasec.org/blog/1008

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