2008-04-11 / Government / Neighborhood

Governor refuses to comply with national ID card

By Jessica Cross crossja84@gmail

"South Carolina will not be complying with the Homeland Security Department's implementation of the national ID card, announced Gov. Mark Sanford March 31, 2008. DHS Secretary, Michael Chertoff responded to Sanford's decision by treating it "as a basis for extension."

Chertoff said he would grant the alleged request. "I cannot authorize the implementation of Real ID or confirm our state's compliance with its requirements in the future," wrote Sanford previously in a letter to Chertoff, referring to a state law established in 2007. "I am duty bound to comply with the laws of our state."

In the letter, Sanford requested that South Carolinians be treated no differently in federal buildings and in airports than other U.S. citizens. He pointed to Montana as an example of a state that is not compliant with the call for a national ID card and whose citizens will be able to enter federal buildings with just a driver's license after the Real ID Act takes effect in May of this year.

Sanford also wrote in his letter that the state's Department of Motor Vehicles has already complied with about 90 percent of the federal government's requirements for making South Carolina driver's licenses more secure than before.

Sanford laid out his reservations about the act in his letter, criticizing the lack of debate over the issue of the Real ID Act in the Legislature, a cost to South Carolinians of more than 100 million dollars over 10 years, privacy concerns for state residents whose licenses would be readily accessible to the Federal government and other states, and loopholes in the Act in terms of one's ability to travel on a foreign passport and obtain "nothing more than a pat-down screening."

Chertoff respectfully rebutted some of Sanford's points in his subsequent letter, arguing that tamper-proof identification would make it difficult for terrorists to change their identities and evade Federal government watch lists.

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