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Los Angeles City Council Opposes the REAL ID Act

By March 30, 2006No Comments

Downloadable:  English press statement

April 20, 2005                          Contact:  EunSook Lee 323-937-3703 (NAKASEC)
Press Release                             Sungpyo Ma 323-937-3718 (KRC)
For Immediate Release                                                         

Los Angeles City Council Opposes the REAL ID Act

[Los Angeles]  On April 13, 2005, the Los Angeles City Council voted to adopt a resolution to oppose HR 418 / the REAL ID Act with an 11-1 vote (3 council members  were absent). The Resolution was introduced by Eric Garcetti (Council District 13) and is currently pending approval from Mayor James Hahn.  Since its introduction into Congress, Los Angeles immigrant communities have expressed concern over the anti-immigrant provisions in the REAL ID Act.  We welcome the City’s response to the communities they serve with the adoption of this resolution.  

The REAL ID Act passed in the House of Representatives in February, was attached to the Iraq and Afghanistan and Tsunami Assistance bill, and is currently under scrutiny in the Senate. The REAL ID Act would create a 3-tiered drivers’ license system:  1.  undocumented immigrants will be denied access to licenses; 2. certain legal non-immigrants will receive licenses which will expire according to the validity period of one’s visa; 3. all licenses will undergo unnecessarily burdensome proof of identity standards.  Other anti-immigrant provisions will curtail the rights of immigrants to have a fair trial and   those fleeing from persecution will have difficulty attaining asylum.

The following attachment is the City Council resolution in opposition to the REAL ID Act.  
Resolution: HR 418 / REAL ID Act
WHEREAS, any official position of the City of Los Angeles with respect to legislation, rules, regulations or policies proposed to or pending before a local, state or federal governmental body or agency must have first been adopted in the form of a Resolution by the City Council with the concurrence of the Mayor; and

WHEREAS, if it becomes law, the REAL ID Act, introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chair F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), would make all Americans less safe and undermine fundamental American values of fairness, due process, and protection of those fleeing persecution; and

WHEREAS, the REAL ID Act would result in an increased number of unlicensed, uninsured drivers on the roads, would prevent persons fleeing persecution from receiving humanitarian relief in the U.S., and would build additional fences along U.S. borders; and

WHEREAS, it would force immigrant communities further underground and accelerate the growing black market in documents, thereby making it easier for terrorists and other criminals to operate; and

WHEREAS, it would undermine America’s moral authority by turning away legitimate asylum seekers fleeing tyranny and making it harder to overturn illegal decisions by immigration authorities; and

WHEREAS, The REAL ID Act (H.R. 418) passed the House of Representatives on February 10, 2005 by a vote of 261 to 161; and

WHEREAS, The measures in “REAL ID” are not recommended by the 9/11 Commission or any other national security professionals or experts who have objectively studied the nation’s vulnerability; and

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles has a history of opposing any legislative or administrative action which would strengthen government’s ability to violate individual privacy and civil rights;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, with the concurrence of the Mayor, that by the adoption of this Resolution, the City of Los Angeles hereby includes in its 2005-2006 Federal Legislative Program OPPOSITION to HR 418, the REAL ID ACT and any similar legislation that would jeopardize the rights of refugees and other immigrants and does very little to enhance the security of our country.