Press Releases and Statements

House Passes Real ID

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Washington, DC, May 5, 2005 | Raj Bharwani ((202) 225-5101) | comments
 Menomonee Falls Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner announced that the House of Representatives today passed the $82 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 368-to-58. This bill, which the Senate is expected to approve next week, includes funding for defense-related activities, the global war on terrorism, tsunami relief, and the REAL ID Act.

“I am glad the House could complete its work on the emergency supplemental bill. It provides the resources needed by our military to protect the country and win the war against terror. I am especially pleased with its inclusion of the REAL ID Act,” said Sensenbrenner.

The REAL ID Act (H.R. 418), approved by the House in February, contains vital border security and terrorism prevention provisions. These provisions were originally passed by the House last fall in the 9/11 Recommendations Implementations Act (H.R.10) but not included in the final version of the bill enacted last December.

“This sensible legislation is aimed at preventing another 9/11-type attack by disrupting terrorist travel and bolstering our border security. Now more than ever, drivers’ licenses can be accepted as identification for federal purposes, such as boarding a commercial airplane, entering a federal building, or a nuclear power plant. Giving state drivers’ licenses to anyone, regardless of whether they are here legally or illegally, is an open invitation for terrorists and criminals to exploit. States will now have to require proof of lawful presence in the U.S. before issuing drivers’ licenses,” stated Sensenbrenner.

Sensenbrenner added, “The REAL ID bill strengthens our border security by shutting down ‘Smugglers Gulch,’ a canyon along the westernmost California-Mexico border frequently used for illegal entrance into the U.S., so law-abiding Americans are better protected from terrorists, drug smugglers, alien gangs, and violent criminals seeking to operate here.”

“The REAL ID Act will also weed out fraudulent asylum applications made by people lying through their teeth. By ferreting out asylum fraud, the supplemental appropriations bill strengthens our asylum system so those legitimately fleeing persecution are welcomed here,” Sensenbrenner concluded.
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