Governor: REAL ID good idea for Arizona

Governor: REAL ID good idea for Arizona

Arizona Range News
December 3, 2008

Gov. Janet Napolitano responded to concerns voiced Wednesday by a state lawmaker and the state director of the American Civil Liberties Union in reference to an agreement the governor signed last week with the Department of Homeland Security to create a new identification card.

The three-in-one card complies with the state’s driver’s license standards, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and can be used in the work eligibility process, according to Napolitano.

During a phone interview with the the Sierra Vista Herald, the governor said the card is “a good deal for Arizona.” She pointed out the card is optional.

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will take effect Jan. 31, will require U.S. residents to show proof of citizenship in order to enter the United States from Canada or Mexico. Napolitano said the card can be used in place of a passport for that purpose.

“Particularly in the southern part of our state, where a lot of people do go back and forth to Mexico all the time and a lot of people don’t have passports and don’t want to want to pay the expense of getting a passport, this will be an available option and an affordable option for them,” she said.

Also, the governor said, given legislative approval, the card will help future employees and employers comply with new state law on employer sanctions.

According to Napolitano, the card will be aligned to be compliant with the requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

Republican Sen. Karen Johnson, of Mesa, criticized the governor for signing the agreement with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff because the final regulations on REAL ID have not been made public.

“Who is the governor to say what we are going to do? She is just one branch of our state government,” Johnson says in a press release issued Wednesday.

But, Napolitano said, “all the agreement says is once we have the regulations, we will work to make this new optional license comply ‘as soon as practicable.’ That is a very important phrase. That means there have to be regulations we agree with and there has to be federal funding associated with it.”

“This license should not rise or fall on REAL ID. It should rise or fall on is it a good idea for Arizonans, and it is,” she added.

Napolitano has committed to seeking any legislative approval that is required regarding the agreement with Chertoff.

Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, issued a press release Wednesday urging state lawmakers to reject efforts to introduce the new driver’s licenses. She says U.S. citizens carrying the cards will be at risk of being tracked.

“These new enhanced driver’s licenses will turn Arizonans into sitting ducks for identity thieves who’ll be able to remotely scan anyone’s electronic identity with inexpensive handheld readers that pick up data emitting from these licenses,” she says.

Napolitano said Meetze is “wrong” and has not taken the time to study the license.

She said the card has a chip, but it does not contain personal information. She said the only people who will be able to learn about a cardholder are those who can access a law enforcement database.

“It’s not as if your license is a hackable vehicle,” she said.

What is the ‘North American Union’?


1 Comment so far
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Janet is a world-class closet NAZI. She’s all for anything that will give the government more power to manipulate, coerce, threaten, or outright enslave you. This is the real Janet Napolitano.
She’s the worst choice is if you value your freedom.

Comment by Joey

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