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March 30, 2009

Here's why Real ID affects you

Maryland's laws and regulations allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses have always generated a passionate debate, but they have never commanded the state's focus like taxes or electric rates do. But as Julie Bykowicz reports this morning, that may be about to change in the last couple of weeks of this General Assembly session.

Both chambers are moving forward with bills to reverse the state's policy, but they're moving forward with a key difference. The recently-amended House version would grandfather in people with existing licenses, with those who don't or can't prove legal residence getting licenses labeled "not federally compliant," but the Senate version would require everyone to prove legal residence even when renewing a license. That distinction has already sparked lengthy debate (Republicans in the House pulled themselves off the bill as sponsors when the two-tiered license amendment was added), and it's not clear if or how it will be resolved before the assembly adjourns.

So why does it matter to the vast majority of Maryalnd drivers? Because we're coming up fast on a set of deadlines for the state to demonstrate a plan to comply with the federal Real ID act, which mandates a legal presence requirement. The first of these deadlines is in October, making this legislative session our last chance to change the law. If we don't demonstrate compliance, Marylanders could find that their driver's licenses are no longer good for getting onto an airplane or into a federal building. I'm betting that the minute people start getting turned away at BWI is the point at which this becomes an issue everybody is passionate about.

Posted by Andy Green at 8:13 AM | | Comments (30)
        

Comments

Turned away? That's what a passport is for, unless Greyhound Air wants to argue with the State Department.

Why is this an issue?
What part of illegal does Annapolis not understand?
Why do illegals have any rights?
What power does CASA hold over Annapolis?
Immigration needs to be fixed in America yes.
But Illegals have no rights being here period!

Unlike the politicians in this state (both parties), I continue to be one step ahead of them. Two years ago I got myself a passport in order to fly around freely in MY own country. I suggest you do also.
This is typical Maryland. The majority has to pay heavily for the actions of a few illegals.
Always remember this; The political hacks are NOT looking out for the person who follows the laws. They are only searching for the next voting base.

Maryland Senate Republican Caucus says;

The delay in enacting proof of legal presence legislation has placed Maryland citizens in a precarious position. Passage of legislation this year is only the first step in restoring the integrity of the system. Our drivers’ license system has been compromised and, even with passage this year, it may take years to recover from the damage done to anyone holding a Maryland drivers’ license.

However, I say they voted for the lesser of two evils.
Shame on them.

I guess I better tear up my house and find my passport.

"What power does CASA hold over Annapolis?"

TONS!!! Vallario, Guiterez and others are in bed with the ILLEGAL LOBBY called Casa de Md.
I do not understand how an elected official can support those who are NOT LEGAL constituents OVER their LEGAL constituents.
They swore an oath to uphold the laws of Maryland and they violate that oath every day.

Both houses should be careful with this issue. While it is proper and expected for them to protect the integrity of citizenship, they don't want to be seen as hateful and racist in doing so....it's the deeds we do that has the most lingering effect on the mind.

Since when is it "hateful" and "racist" to follow the laws of this country? We taxpayers need to call and tell the assembly that we do NOT want to fund CASA. They are the hateful and racist group.

I always wonder when I read the hateful comments against CASA (a very LEGAL organization I must stress) and others working to support new immigrants WHETHER these are folks live in communities where immigrants live. Do their children go to schools were the children of immigrant communities go? Mine do.

I support CASE because their efforts STABILIZE my community. Anti-immigrant legislation destabilizes my community. Just look at Prince William County where foreclosures are up, along with property taxes, because immigrant families fled the open animosity against immigrants.

I am proud that Maryland is one of the few states in the nation that has resisted "real ID" (an unjust and unfunded federal mandate!) and has seen the logic of making sure those driving are licensed and insured.

They've been threatening to turn people away from airports since last April, when the deadline mentioned in the story was initially set. When April rolled around, and few states were "compliant," the deadline got moved.

Montana and several other states have passed laws explicitly forbidding the state from compliance with Real ID, which has effectively rendered the legislation dead.

Immigration issues aside, "The Free State" should not let the grandstanding of a few bureaucrats intimidate it into compromising safety. Licensing gives the state a way to hold drivers accountable for their actions on the road, and that is a desirable thing no matter who you are.

Both houses need to proceed carefully with this issue. While truly are acting in the best interest of all in perserving the integrity of all, they don't want to be proceed as hateful and racist.

If illegal 68 illegal aliens got DL's all using the same address in Baltimore, is that not FRAUD? Do you not have to have a card from MVA showing your new address if you are not living at the address on your DL?

Casa may NOT be operating legally. They are an employment agency and are not licensed as such in the state.
Any group that supports ILLEGAL ALIENS and condones and covers up illegal activity should not be receiving taxpayer funds.

Anonymous
If this is the case and these immigrants come here to better our state, tell me why there is a dire need of crab pickers this year?

complete amnesty for all.

This article wasn't about CASA. Those of you who brought them up must be members of Help Save Maryland. If you've got a bug up your butt about CASA, this isn't the place to bleat about it. This article was about how Real ID will eventually affect the in-country movement of actual citizens like me and, presumably, you.

Real ID reminds me of the internal passports Soviet citizens used to have to carry. Folks, we're just one step away from having to "present our papers" at the whim of Big Government. Maryland so far has had the onions to tell the Federal government to pound sand. Please contact your elected representative and tell her/him to continue to do so.

I always wonder when I read the hateful comments against CASA (a very LEGAL organization I must stress) and others working to support new immigrants WHETHER these are folks live in communities where immigrants live. Do their children go to schools were the children of immigrant communities go? Mine do.

I support CASE because their efforts STABILIZE my community. Anti-immigrant legislation destabilizes my community. Just look at Prince William County where foreclosures are up, along with property taxes, because immigrant families fled the open animosity against immigrants.

I am proud that Maryland is one of the few states in the nation that has resisted "real ID" (an unjust and unfunded federal mandate!) and has seen the logic of making sure those driving are licensed and insured

If you are so dam proud to be a Marylander why don't you sign your real name instead of Anonymous!

Sorry Robin, didn't know you were in charge!

Andy, what about other states rejecting Maryland's driver licenses when people apply for licenses in their states. Think job transfers, college students, and retirement. Imagine the hassles of these folks (especially if they don't have passports) trying to track down old ss cards, birth certificates, etc.

Maryland has sadly become a sanctuary state:

Want to pay someone to murder someone? Come to Maryland you won't get the needle.

Want a license and you are here illegally or you want to avoid attention for suspect (terrorism, criminal, etc) reasons? Come to Maryland.

(The opposite also applies--don't want to pay the highest income taxes? Skip Maryland. Don't want to deal with some of the most burdensome regulations for business? Don't relocate your business to Maryland. Don't want high corporate income taxes? Relocate your business to Delaware. Don't want slots at your neighborhood's mall? Move to Virginia. Etc).

The writer of this piece hasn't done their homework. In her Confirmation Hearing, the new Secretary of Homeland Security promised that REAL ID would be revisited in light of the cost and security concerns raised by the National Governors Conference and others. Significantly, as governor of Arizona, she blocked implementation of REAL ID. Even the Enhanced Driver's License proposal is receiving push-back and is floundering.

Napolitano was Governor of Arizona which now has the title of the KIDNAPPING CAPITAL of the USA. FORTH highest in the world. ALL drug cartel related. They too are a sanctuary state. She has done such a wonderful job in her home state she was chosen to do the same with the entire USA.

I am proud that we won the war on terror against the terrorists. We now are faced with man caused disasters in our overseas contingency plan.

If you want to play GHOSTS this will be the best way to do it. In this case we can see them but can not identify them. A lot of immigrants that apply for a Driver's License do so because they have a family to support. They need to work and they are trying to comply with the law that requires a License to drive (imagine your daily live with out one). Taking away the License will result in people driving without insurance and will be really dificult to find a person with no Identification or record.

To clarify some of the above comments:

ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL- if you are not here legally- get out. If you are here legally- welcome!

REAL ID. Might as well start asking us for our "papers" when we start crossing borders.

what we have to ask ourselves will this new requirement do ANYTHING to fix the problem? Or is it snake-oil being sold as a cure-all?

I fail to see how this one requirement is going to fix the problem. Instead, what we will have is people avoiding getting licenses and still driving, posing a greater threat on the roadways. But no one thinks of that.

i would just like someone to give me real verifiable facts. I would love Helpsavemaryland to give me something that someone could actually fact check instead anecdotal accounts of "driver's licenses not being accepted."

Oh and Jake, Maryland does NOT have the highest income tax rates.

http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/ind_inc.html

could we stop saying this? I don't know where people get that but I hear it so much and it is patently false.

Your average MD'er pays in the middle of the pack comparatively nation-wide.

"A lot of immigrants that apply for a Driver's License do so because they have a family to support."

Working in this country is ILLEGAL for them too. HIRING them is ILLEGAL too.
What do you not understand about the word ILLEGAL?

James, please show us any documented proof of increased driving without a license in states that are REAL ID-compliant?

You're right Maryland has the 4th highest rates:
"Estimated at 10.8% of income, Maryland's state/local tax burden percentage ranks 4th highest nationally"
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/topic/34.html

"Maryland's 2005 individual income tax collections were $1,638 per person, which ranked 2nd highest nationally."
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/topic/34.html

And here's Maryland getting dead-last for business:
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24378.html

Unfortunately, Maryland worries more about hurting people's feelings and taxing away our jobs than we do in protecting the rights of our citizens and the opportunities for all to succeed (ps...did you see the recent legislation to limit the amount a minority business enterprise can make to qualify? Now we punish success, amazing!).

I was doing work for the MVA this past year and noticed an unusually high number of latinos/mexicans getting or applying for licenses. I wondered why that was.. Now I know! All the illeagles were getting licenses before any changes in the law were made to hinder them from getting one!! Maryland should be ashamed of itself for using our tax dollars to fund CASA DE CORRUPTION
Just another example of political favors for money and votes- so what if they want amnesty for illeagles- just get them to vote, one place you wont be required to show I.D. is at the polls

Hey Jake,

That includes LOCAL TAXES. not the MD income tax rate which you said.

See local taxes are controlled by LOCALITIES. maybe you should look at the "fiscal conservatives" that some of the counties are electing. I know the ones in Harford County have been robbing my mother blind for years.

Amendments were rejected by the Democrat floor leader Del. Dumais of Montgomery County, and her efforts were assisted by Del. Barve, the House Majority Leader, arguing that, while illegal aliens do not have the right to vote,

"the State does not have the right to prevent them from registering to vote."

I have a passport and I know where it is for those times here and there when I need it.

So why do I have to pay extra so that my driver's license can do the exact same thing when most of the time I have absolutely no use for it?

Only one answer. Big brother wants to track us everywhere we go and make us pay for the privilege.

ATTENTION!!! PLEASE READ!!!
This article is very deceptive and needs to tell the readers exactly what the REAL IDs are. It is not at all about your drivers license but more about the DHS having your information in a centralized government database. Don't believe everything you read as truth, do your own research and investigate this REAL IDs for yourself.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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