White House Backs 'Real ID Act'

The Real ID Act is bad policy and a bad law. It's dangerous and it is set for a House vote on Thursday. The White House threw its support behind the Sensenbrenner-sponsored bill today.

This is the bill that would allow the U.S. to send non-citizens back to countries that employ torture. The ACLU says:

Specifically, the bill would make it easier to send asylum-seekers back to the countries they are fleeing if they cannot provide written "corroboration" of their claims, a move contrary to international law. Federal law already gives officials ample discretion to deny improper asylum claims, and asylum applicants are subject to much more extensive scrutiny than virtually any other pool of non-citizens seeking entry to the United States.

Anytime you see groups as diverse as these uniting to oppose a specific piece of legislation, it's a pretty safe bet it's a bad law.

the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the oldest and largest Irish-American group; the American Conservative Union; the Free Congress Foundation; the Republican Liberty Caucus; Episcopal Migration Ministries; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Human Rights First; Amnesty International and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.

Concerns have also been expressed by former Republican Congressman Bob Barr and the executive director of Gun Owners of America, Larry Pratt, who wrote in a Washington Times op-ed last November that the asylum provision would "[force] Christians and others fleeing persecution to provide written ‘corroboration’ from the very officials they are fleeing." The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has also issued a report denouncing the measure.

Don't fall for Sensenbrenner's last minute appeasement ploy:

Sensenbrenner has also offered an amendment to make the bill appear to offer something valuable to the persecuted, but actually makes the bill worse, the ACLU said. The amendment would lift the artificially low cap that leads to long delays for those who have been granted asylum to obtain green cards, but it would also add additional restrictions and asylum and court-stripping provisions that would take away the power of the courts to review unlawful actions by the government in many deportation cases.

The judiciary is an essential check on the permissible limits of executive and congressional exercise of power. Don't let Congress fritter it away.

The Human Rights First has more. Conservation groups also oppose the bill - check out Defenders of Wildlife. Our prior warning about the bill is here.

Many Dems oppose this bill. They need to hear from their consituents. Send this message tonight. Call early tomorrow morning. Toll free number for all members of Congress is (877) 762-8762. Ask to be connected to your Congressperson. You can also send an email to the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, here.

This is just another bill that fails to make us safer while stripping away more freedoms.

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    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 10:42:10 PM EST
    Bush will back anything that removes our rights.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 07:25:39 AM EST
    Uh. What is tthe problem. They could just get some cops like these to torture them in America. Thing is Abu G. is an outrage. Stuff like this happening in America? Business as usual. Who complains? Not the left/not the right/ none of the heavy weight blogs. And people wonder how the Germans could do a genocide in a civilized country. Simple. People do not want to know. Here is one about Russia vs US when it comes to stealing property. Guess what? The Great Instapundit is silent on the matter. Perhaps some one needs to inform him. I tried. But I'm just a nobody.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#3)
    by txpublicdefender on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 09:36:33 AM EST
    I don't see the problem. I mean, most government torturers and secret police provide documentation to their targets about their intent to persecute, torture, wrongfully imprison, and kill them, right? This is very, very dangerous. No one will be able to get political asylum here anymore, unless they are a high-level defector the US government decides is worth protecting. Does anyone bother to acknowledge that this law is a clear violation of several treaties we have signed?

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#4)
    by ras on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    Calm down, folks, and review the facts: The bill contains several items: - a tightening of driver's license standards; more specifically, what the feds will accept as a valid id, such as when boarding an airliner. - completing a fence on the U.S.-Mexican border near San Diego - a provision re refugee asylum; this seems to be the bone of contention here Re that contention, note that Bush is, in fact, as against it as you are:
    The administration said it "strongly supports" the bill the House began debating Wednesday but wants it altered to ensure that new barriers are not erected for refugees seeking asylum. It also asked Congress to remove limits on the number of asylum recipients who can obtain permanent U.S. residency. [emphasis added]
    Nice to see you guys supporting Bush's initiative this time.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 02:43:04 PM EST
    "Bush will back anything that removes our rights." This has nothing to do with OUR rights. This has something to do with rights of people OUTSIDE of our country. I am sure there are some torture in China, are we going to take all the population into the US? Obviously we need the ability to send back people who are not in dire cirscumstances. Remember this is the number 1 country that people are trying to get in illegally. I am sure there are hundreds of millions of people who are more than happy to tell tales of torture if that gets them a green card.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 03:17:17 PM EST
    Anon, you ever heard of the Pilgrims? You know, the first European settlers, the ones who were fleeing religious persecution? At least some of us know that this has EVERYTHING to do with what America is all about. And rest assured, too-stupid-to-post-a-name (consider taking it as your own!), the VAST majority of asylum seekers are denied relief and get sent home, and it's a straw man argument to imply that opponents of this law oppose deporting anyone and importing the population of China. Respect the foundation this country is built upon. Love it or leave it. Maybe you'll like it in China.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 08:08:24 PM EST
    Forget the pilgrims. Do you know why we have laws about asylum? Because countries all over the world, including the United States, turned back boatloads of Jewish Germans who were fleeing Hitler. Of course one needs to be able to discern fraudulent requests for asylum from the real thing. But, given the stakes, we ought err on the side of caution. And anyway, it's not like asylum-seekers are anything like a significant proportion of immigrants.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 08:27:19 PM EST
    February 10, its all about rights and within 5 years you will get what i mean, when you are inside the camp system.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 01:22:28 AM EST
    Fred, OK, I added it to my calendar and we can review on Feb 10, 2010. Are we, or are we not, all living in a camp system by then? We'll see if you, or Anon, was right.

    Re: White House Backs 'Real ID Act' (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 09:18:12 PM EST
    Its the end of the world.....I tell ya!!.