Monday, January 14, 2008

Federal REAL ID Jeopardizes Civil Liberties and Security

Bipartisan Coalition urges Pennsylvania to reject REAL ID

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania (LPPA) &
Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA)

For more information contact:
Michael Robertson (LPPA Chair) at 1-800-R-RIGHTS /

Hillary Aisenstein (GPPA Chair) at 1-267-971-3559 /

Harrisburg, PA – Two of Pennsylvania's political parties found common ground and issued a joint announcement to fellow Pennsylvanians calling on the General Assembly to reject the federal REAL ID Act. In 2008, Pennsylvania will be required to begin implementation of the REAL ID Act, mandating that driver’s licenses contain specific personal information, providing the federal government with a database of all records, and developing the ability to track citizens. This will result in a never before seen massive collection of personal information.

Intended to enhance domestic security, REAL ID instead makes us more vulnerable. According to Berks County State Representative Samuel Rohrer, “There are no safeguards in this Act to sufficiently guarantee that this massive national database will not be compromised.”

To make matters worse, negotiations are underway to share database access among participants in the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA) to allow bureaucrats in Mexico and Canada access to our personal information.

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Chair Michael Robertson noted “There is opposition to REAL ID because of the costs to implement this system, but the threat posed by this Act to civil liberties and personal security cannot be measured in dollars.” Governments could easily require the REAL ID for bank and credit card transactions; healthcare purchases; public event admittance; or firearm and ammunition purchases, all of which would become part of the database.

Marakay Rogers, a civil rights attorney from York, who also serves on the Green Party of PA Steering Committee, said “Under the cover of a so-called War on Terror, our government has steadily eroded the rights and liberties of citizens, immigrants, and visiting foreigners. The REAL ID legislation is one more effort to invade our privacy at the state level.”

"A national ID system will redefine privacy as we know it,” observed State Senator Mike Folmer, “[It will] create a mountain of new bureaucracy and increase fees and taxes – without making us any safer.” The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has estimated the cost of REAL ID implementation at $100 million, but the loss of liberty for Pennsylvanians will be incalculable.

Concerned members of the Pennsylvania Senate have introduced S.B. 1220, a bill strongly rejecting the federal REAL ID. Pennsylvania's Green and Libertarian Parties urge all Pennsylvanians to contact their state senators and ask them to support S.B. 1220 by becoming a co-sponsor.

In addition, we urge Pennsylvanians to contact their Congressional representatives and Senators Specter and Casey. Remind them of Pennsylvania’s growing opposition to the REAL ID and urge them to work to repeal REAL ID at the federal level.

The Libertarian and Green Parties of Pennsylvania stand together in support of the rights of Pennsylvanians and in opposition to a federal mandate that will erode our liberty and make us no more secure.

Green Party of Pennsylvania P.O. Box 11962 Harrisburg, PA 17108-1962 1-888-PA1-GREE(N)

Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania, 3915 Union Deposit Road #223, Harrisburg, PA 17109 1-800-R-RIGHTS
Nice to have a JOINT Press Release from both the Libertarians and Greens.

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