Real ID opponents fear it will "divide us into documented and undocumented"

If you’re heading out to the DMV in the near future to renew your driver’s license or other identification you’ll probably be noticing a change. You’ll need to provide additional documentation to verify who you actually are and establish your legal residency status in order to receive a Real ID compliant identification card. In most cases, you can probably still get a non-compliant ID, but you won’t be able to use it to board a plane at the airport, enter a federal courthouse or for several other travel purposes. This is part of the 2005 security package passed by Congress after the 9/11 attacks.

Despite the obvious advantages to beefing up security, you can always find someone who is ready to complain about it. That’s the case with David L. Ulin, a contributing writer at the LA Times. This week he writes that Real ID is yet another evil government plot to “divide us all into documented and undocumented.”

Real ID won’t make us safer, it will only divide us…

As of 2020, if you want to travel within your own country by air, you will have to have Real ID or a passport. If you want an ID that isn’t stamped “Federal limits apply,” you will have to document your legality.

The government expressly claims this isn’t a national identification system, but please: You either will have the proper “papers” or you won’t…

Equally troubling is the further development of what we might call a two-tier America, based on immigration status and economic opportunity. Even the Department of Homeland Security acknowledges that noncompliant IDs could be a red flag for discrimination.

Ulin attempts to conflate the new ID requirements with a host of other divisive social constructs, claiming that they will pit the poor against the rich, minorities against whites, cat lovers against dog lovers and who knows what else. But at the end of the day, what he’s really driving at is the fact that it will make it harder for illegal aliens to be “normalized” in society. The program is going to divide the documented against the undocumented.

Just as a side note to Mr. Ulin, I hope you weren’t waiting for me to argue with you. I completely agree that this will be one effect of Real ID. And that’s kind of the idea.

The author is in California where the problems this will cause for illegal aliens are particularly acute. That’s because, as he notes in this column, there are already more than one million illegals in the Golden State who have valid driver’s licenses thanks to California’s increasingly liberal sanctuary policies. But separating those legally in the country from those eligible for detention and deportation is only an ancillary benefit of the Real ID system. These ID documents will be required for air travel so we can make life harder for terrorists and hopefully make it a bit easier for the rest of us to get it through airport security a little faster.

Shockingly, Ulin brushes away these concerns by saying, “the U.S. has not experienced another 9/11-scale attack, and terrorism remains (thankfully, fortunately) an abstraction to most of us.”

Really? The terror threat is over and nobody told me? That’s great news, David. I’ll be sure to let all the families in San Bernardino know.