National ID and Mexican Terrorists

House backs major shift to electronic IDs
The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses.

And in the same bill:

Bill passed in House also empowers security secretary to 'waive all laws'

Section 102 of the REAL ID Act of 2005 seeks to expedite the building of a three-mile fence at the border near San Diego to staunch the flood of illegal aliens that travel through an area known as "smuggler's gulch."

Environmental laws have been the project's chief roadblock, but the bill's language appears to provide an unlimited scope, reading, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section."

Significantly, it also says courts are prohibited from reviewing the secretary's decision.

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27 Responses:

  1. neevita says:

    Dude, where's my country?

  2. Every time I think Alex Jone's is paranoid, there is something like this. They has a post in the paper a while back about how people from Washington State would *not* be able to fly with just their State issued Driver's License, since we allow licenses for "illegal immigrants".

  3. captspastic says:

    What are you guys getting upset about???

    This is one thing the religious right will never let happen. This is a page right out of Revelation, naming the mark of the beast. They will fall on the ground, screaming of armegeddon.

    • jwz says:

      You say that like it's a bad thing. Armageddon means that everybody gets to go live in the magic fairyland ice-cream castle in the sky.

    • cowbert says:

      at this point, i think they've forgotten about tim lahaye and are focusing on the whole "gays and muslims are evil" theme.

      • d1663m says:

        They aren't caring about the Tim Lahaye thing. They all believe they're going to be the ones to disappear! Sorta like the Muslim suicide bomber and his 40 virgins. It's a belief that no matter what, they're golden. F the world all the non-believers.

        • cowbert says:

          the interesting thing is that if they were so willing for the rapture to come, why are they so afraid of their own mortality - i.e. stripping freedoms in order to crusade against real or imagined "terrorists"?

          • d1663m says:

            Good point. So the proper term would be "nutcase" instead of "religious zealot". Or are those two interchangeable these days?

  4. notthatbill says:

    Um, folks, it IS exceedingly easy for terrorists of any origin, or anyone else, to enter the United States though the border with Mexico, as the US's border security lags behind that of nearly all of the other rich countries, and a lot of the poorer ones (including Mexico, ironically.) Of course, if the terrorists in question are Saudi nationals they are welcome to waltz right in through the front door, but that's another issue...

    When I was working (post 9-11) in a tiny Mexican border town, there was a story in the local paper about a mysterious, well-funded group of "Egipcios" (Egyptians) who had purchased passage into the US from a smuggler the previous day. This sort of thing happens quite a bit.

    Or perhaps you are of the mind that five billion people around the world hold some sort of civil right to move to the US.

    • jwz says:

      Regardless of whether you think that it's worthwhile or even possible to protect a border as large as the one between the US and Mexico, the "waive all laws" is totally egregious.

      Personally, I blame Canada.

      • notthatbill says:

        It's quite possible to secure that border, especially given our willingness to spend big on "defense". Hardening up the border would fit within the margin or error of the DOD budget. Actually punishing employers for employing illegal labor would make a giant difference, too.

        But you're right about a cabinet secretary being supposedly authorized to waive laws. What? Even if you could do that for federal laws, which you can't, where in the hell did the federal government get the authority to waive state laws? You have to wonder if Richard Nixon is slapping his forehead right now. "Waive the laws? Of course! Why didn't we think of that?"

      • fantasygoat says:

        Our scandalous decriminalization of pot and our free healthcare are slowly eroding the fabric of American society.

    • spider88 says:

      , as the US's border security lags behind that of nearly all of the other rich countries, and a lot of the poorer ones (including Mexico, ironically.)

      That's crazy talk. I live in San Diego, an hour from the border. Want to walk into Mexico? Go right ahead. Want to walk out of Mexico? Stand in line. Want to drive into Mexico. Sure, go on ahead - there's probably no one at the gate anyway. Want to drive out of Mexico? Prepare for an one to two hour wait.

      • notthatbill says:

        Very true, but I mean Mexico's southern border with Guatemala and Belize. Mexico is determined and effective at preventing the much poorer Central Americans from moving to Mexico for jobs and benefits than we are. The Mexican government is fine with them *passing through* to the United States, to do the same, however.

  5. decibel45 says:

    I strongly suggest everyone write their Representative and Senators. Here's my letter should anyone want to use part of it:

    Rep. Carter:

    I am deeply dismayed at the passage of HR418, specifically at the carte-blanch powers that it hands to the Secretary of Homeland Security. I am referring specifically to "SEC. 102. WAIVER OF LAWS NECESSARY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BARRIERS AT BORDERS." Separation of powers as well as checks and balances are one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and this bill just took a big chunk out of that cornerstone. Not only does it allow the Secretary to ignore the will of the legislative branch, it also puts him outside the reach of the judicial. I can only hope that this bill does not become law.

    I don't know your position on this bill since you didn't vote, but I certainly hope you are against it. I think it is absurd to think that a mere fence will keep terrorists out of this country, which is supposedly the purpose of this bill. Likewise, forcing the states to issue electronic IDs to all adults is highly suspect.

    Jim Nasby

  6. jkonrath says:

    What states don't issue ID that meet these requirements? I know mine has for at least six years.

  7. dfb says:

    "Significantly, it also says courts are prohibited from reviewing the secretary's decision."

    Doesn't that seem like the kind of thing that might be, you know, unconstitutional? Isn't judicial review one of the more basic parts of the whole "checks and balances" thing?

    • waider says:

      s'alright, that's covered: JUDICIAL ACTIVISM, A GRAVE AND GROWING PROBLEM (grep if/when the link dies, it's in the congressional record for March 4, 2004)

      • greyface says:

        Only if you take that judicial activist Chief Justice Marshall at his word (in 1803). (my source)

        Before that the Supreme Court had no stake in the constitutionality, or actual review of laws. They were just a place where law was pursued. Only now does it seem that interpretation of laws is inherent to the duties of the court.

        So... right... it took 14 years for the country to take on that bit... Judiciary review of laws still isn't in the consitution though.
        Excerpt of Article 3

        Section 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; -- to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; -- to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; -- to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; -- to Controversies between two or more States; -- between a State and Citizens of another State; -- between Citizens of different States; -- between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

        Doesn't say anything about the Supreme court overturning acts of Congress, does it? Just says that Cases arising from the consitution are under it's jurisdiction.

        That said... I'm damn glad that Marbury v. Madison has stood at least until these days, and a lot of bad laws have been overturned (oublietterated as some of my friends would say) because of it.

  8. srattus says:


    how much work do you think it will take to roll back these totalitarian structures after some sane people get elected to government?

    (assuming there are any left or surviving at the time, that is.)

    • okie_boy says:

      They won't be rolled back to any significant extent. This is it, the day we knew was coming. I remember growing up in the 80's how we felt so superior to the USSR because we didn't have to have internal passports to travel or have govt issued ID cards because we were free. Not any more.

    • catherine81 says:

      sane people??? in government??? the american people will never allow that to happen.

  9. merovingian says:

    "I decided to waive bribery, pandering, grand theft auto and embezzling laws to get this fence built."

    • merovingian says:

      "Oh, and also the First and Fourth Amendments. And, heck, the Twelfth Amendment too. No, you can't judge whether or not I'm allowed to do that."

      • alierak says:

        Good lord, why not waive the 13th and 15th, and go build the damn thing with Hispanic slave labor? WTF! This is sooooo wrong. It is like a black hole of wrongness from which no good thing can possibly emerge.