REAL ID . . . REALly For Illegal Aliens
Be careful what you wish for.
The REAL ID Act, advertised as preventing states from
issuing driver`s licenses to illegal aliens, is now the
law of the land.
But this is the truth: the REAL ID Act still contains
loopholes big enough to allow truckloads of illegal
aliens to get valid temporary state driver`s licenses.
This driver`s license language first surfaced in the
H.R. 10, but was
purged from the final 9/11 "Intelligence Reform"
bill. The language reappeared as part of the
supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq war that
was signed into law by President Bush on May 10.
The federal requirements for state driver`s license
and identification cards are scheduled to go into effect
three years from now—May 10, 2008.
The final REAL ID bill still contains its most
precious much-resisted language: preventing the
"any foreign document" as a stepping-stone to a
state driver`s license. It prohibits the use of the
Mexican government`s infamous
"Matricula Consular" card…although unfortunately
not for three years. So expect a "get `em while
you can, Amigos" campaign by the
Mexican Consulate sometime before the May, 2008
"(B) EVIDENCE OF LAWFUL STATUS- A State shall
require, before issuing a driver`s license or
identification card to a person, valid documentary
evidence that the person–
a citizen or national of the United States;
is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent or temporary
residence in the United States;
has conditional permanent resident status in the United
has an approved application for asylum in the United
States or has entered into the United States in refugee
a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant visa or nonimmigrant
visa status for entry into the United States;
has a pending application for asylum in the United
has a pending or approved application for temporary
protected status in the United States;
has approved deferred action status; or
has a pending application for adjustment of status to
that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent
residence in the United States or conditional permanent
resident status in the United States."
That sure covers a lot of
foreign nationals getting state driver`s licenses! But
here`s the part
about temporary licenses that makes for most of the
person presents evidence under any of clauses (v)
through (ix) of subparagraph (B), the State may only
issue a temporary driver`s license or temporary
identification card to the person."
In fact, of course, the United
States citizens in group (i) are the only people listed
in the REAL ID Act who absolutely, positively do have
permanent status in the United States. All of the other
categories cover foreign nationals whose legal status in
the United States is subject to revocation or
expiration. (Yes, I do realize that United States
can be renounced—but it`s rare.) There is nothing
"permanent" about "lawful permanent residence"
or any of the legal status of aliens listed in the
so-called "permanent" groups (ii), (iii) and (iv)
Here are the immigration loopholes
for the foreign-born groups (ii) through (ix):
- Any of the aliens in groups
(ii) through (ix) could be convicted criminals
or illegal aliens currently in removal proceedings, which means
they are supposedly on their way OUT of the United
States. But as readers of these
columns know, Immigration Court hearings and
appeals before the Executive Office for Immigration
can last virtually forever:
. . . assuring them plenty of time to enjoy
their "temporary" driver`s license.
border-crossing card (BCC) holders are
technically eligible for temporary driver`s licenses
under REAL ID group (v)—(“non-immigrant visa
status”). Their length of stay at any one time
is only thirty days. Yet they still are somehow now
entitled to a temporary state license for one year
at a time, apparently renewable at will as long as
they hold the BCC.
- State motor vehicle agencies
may not be able to distinguish whether an alien in
group (v) with an "approved" application for
asylum is an alien who was only "approved" by
EOIR immigration judge. Technically (perish the
thought), such cases may still be on appeal by the
- Refugees in group (iv) can
enter the United States but decide never to adjust
their status to permanent residence. With
refugee status alone, they are not free to come
and go in and out of the United States as they
please. But if they don`t have a valid U.S. entry
document (other than the special circumstance of
being allowed "advance parole" by the federal
government), why shouldn`t they be limited to a
temporary driver`s license along with the aliens in
groups (v) through (ix)?
- This business about
"pending applications" for immigration status
filed by illegal aliens as proof of state driver`s
license "status" in the United States is a
travesty. Under REAL ID, illegal aliens in
groups (vi), (vii) and (ix) can get temporary
driver`s licenses at will. All they have to do is
FILE any of the listed applications, no matter how
bogus, fraudulent or patently ridiculous.
- In the immigration
benefit fraud department, REAL ID opens the
possibility of any alien filing an application for
adjustment of status through a fictitious relative,
or an application for temporary protected status
claiming to be from a country on the current
"temporary protected status" (TPS)
list. Aliens who file frivolous, bogus immigration
applications just to be able to present proof that
an application is "pending"—for groups (vi),
(vii) and (x)—could care less that the application
couldn`t possibly be granted.
Here`s the point: illegal aliens
with a "pending" application for anything are
still illegal aliens. But under REAL ID, they can still
get a state driver`s license.
(Supposedly for a temporary
nothing more permanent than a temporary driver`s
license. Who cares if the license is "temporary"—for
one-year periods? It can be renewed at will, over and
And if that`s not enough, the
aliens listed in group (viii) (“has approved deferred
action status”) are really
illegal aliens and
criminal alien residents who have already been
ordered deported, but the federal government has
decided to "defer" the "action" of
actually carrying out the deportation.
So the illegal aliens in group
(viii) will not only have the blessing of the federal
government for their non-deportation status, but they`ll
have the federal government`s blessing for their state
temporary driver`s license as well.
Once aliens are
inside the United States, there is nothing stopping
any of them from filing whatever applications they want
. . . and having a gateway to presenting proof for at
least a temporary driver`s license under REAL ID.
Who says illegal aliens can`t get
driver`s licenses? REAL ID gives a temporary license for
John McCain and Ted Kennedy somehow carry the day
with another amnesty disaster, the illegal aliens`
temporary state driver`s licenses will be a sure thing for
anyone who so much as FILES for immigration status . . .
courtesy of the
Bottom line: "temporary workers"
(beneficiaries of the future amnesty) will get
"temporary" state driver`s licenses.