The Real ID program, hated by states who would have to pay the costs and civil libertarians, is being pushed back five more years, the Bush Administration announced Friday, The Washington Post reported. The law, which was originally slated to take effect in May of this year, is being pushed back to May 2011 for drivers born after Dec. 1, 1964.
"We have worked very closely with the states in terms of developing a plan that I think will be quite inexpensive, reasonable to implement and produce the results," recommended by the 9/11 Commission and mandated by Congress, namely more secure identification, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said. He did not detail the plan. "False identification facilitates illegal immigration, which I'm hearing again and again is a very big concern for the American people."C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a consultant and former DHS assistant secretary for policy, said that by cutting costs and paying $50 million towards states' costs, DHS is "on a glide path now to having this thing done."
"The devil is always in the details with DHS, and we'll have to look very closely" at the program, ACLU legislative counsel Timothy D. Sparapani said.
David Quam, director of federal relations for the National Governors Association, cautioned that the final regulations "put us at the beginning of the process, not the end."