HispanicVista Columnists

Sensenbrenner Real ID Act provides the long sought National Identification Americans have for so long yearned.

By Patrick Osio, Jr


Stop illegal immigration and we make America safe from terrorism and Add 3.5 miles to a 14-mile long fence on the US-Mexico border and it will stop terrorists and illegal immigrants from entering the US Are Americans expected to believe this bunk? It seems that Congressmen James Sensenbrenner and Duncan Hunter believe we should, and surprising how many Americans do believe it, though by just giving those ideas a tiny little bit of thought the absurdity of each statement would be clear.

The third absurdity in the so called laws to make America safe  also found in the Sensenbrenner Real ID Act (H.R. 418), and stop illegal immigration is the dont give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. According to Roy Beck, President of Numbers USA a rabid anti-immigration organization, not issuing drivers licenses will diminish illegal immigration and also stop terrorists from obtaining them. Wow, we are now safe from terrorists and can look forward to no more illegal immigration.

Are these guys serious? Do they actually believe their own bunk or do they know better and are selling us a bag full of dung for their political gain and to advance their keep America white beliefs?

In 1996, California stopped issuing drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Did it stop illegal immigration? No, it has increased from 979,101 in 1994 to 1,159,303 apprehensions in 2004. Does Sensenbrenner, Hunter, et al really believe that some poor fellow in desperate economic straights deep in Mexico who will gamble his very life to cross into the promised land will cancel the trip because he wont be able to get a drivers license?  And, do they really believe that terrorists would cancel their acts if they cant get a drivers license? If so, there is some serious flawed thinking or hidden agendas going on in the halls of Congress.

As for Congressman Hunters border fence that he claims will stop terrorists from entering the US come on. Hunter has been at this since the early 1990s. He got the US to spend millions on putting up about 14 miles of fence along the San Diego-Tijuana border claiming then it would keep illegal immigrants out. Experts told him it would not work that they would simply cross somewhere else. And that is exactly what has happened.

In July 2002, the Public Institute of California released a study concluding Operation Gatekeeper, a then INS strategy of amassing Border Patrol officers close to the border and erecting the Hunter hard-to-cross fences, did not deter migrants from attempting entry. To the contrary attempts continued to rise, and such strategy encouraged those who did enter to stay long in the US. The PPIC indicated that in 1992, 30 percent of Mexicans who illegally entered the US returned to Mexico within the year, but the percentage had dropped to 11 percent by 2000 due to the misbegotten strategy.

Ignoring expert advise and facts gathered, now Congressman Hunter claims that the missing 3.5 miles of his original fence that was not erected due to the protected National Estuarine Sanctuary is the reason for failing to keep illegal immigrants out.

The border is 2000 miles maybe Hunter would care to explain how it is that 14 miles of fence would secure the nation from terrorists? And why the nation should give permission to ignore environmental protections to sensitive areas?

Americans need to understand that if this fence is approved, it also becomes law that in the name of National Security officials will be able to ignore all environmental laws where ever and when ever they use such a term for any project they want without restrictions and opponents will not be able to use the courts to stop any such project.

So there we have it Republicans who have for so long opposed a National ID card, are the ones making the drivers licenses the official National ID card. We can expect a national standardization and providing yet more information for issuance and for renewals. We can expect the period of validity to be cut from 4 to 2 years, and costs to be increased for both issuance and renewal.

But we will have a national ID card, and illegal immigrants driving without a National ID card. We can expect that the addition of 3.5 miles of fence will do nothing to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border, but agencies will no longer have to worry about environmental regulations for any project as long as it can be dubbed National Security such as drilling for oil along the shores of the Pacific.


Patrick Osio, Jr. is Editor of HispanicVista.com (www.hispanicvista.com). Contact at: Posiojr@hispanicvista.com