The Real ID Act, signed by President Bush as a part of an $82 billion emergency spending bill on Iraq, creates uniform national standards for required documents needed to obtain a government identification. The bill will also help to create a network of databases of state driver's licenses and facilitate the deportation proceedings for certain immigrants.Shirley Lin, community organizer for the Jackson Heights-based New Immigrant Community Empowerment, an immigrants right organization, estimated that 10,000 people in Queens could lose their licenses due to the new law, which goes into effect May 2008."The law does not do what it claims to do," she said the day after the signing, "It only allows further victimization and scapegoating... this is the worst anti-immigration bill since 1996."Lin said undocumented immigrants could face new restrictions, such as finding it difficult or impossible to get into certain federal buildings where an ID is required. But ultimately, she said, this would probably increase the demand for fraudulent documents necessary for work or driving. Supporters of the legislation, such as Jack Martin, special projects director for Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, said it would improve the federal government's ability to search through all state databases looking for terrorists."We are very supportive of the driver's license security provisions," he said last week. "It is a way to check that individuals are not obtaining multiple drivers licenses, that the federal government has a way to check driver's licenses that are issued and is able to find people if they are being sought."The law requires that driver's license applicants present proof of lawful immigration status and accepts a passport as the only foreign document which can be used for identifica
©2005 Community News Group
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