While 10 states and the District of Columbia have been issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens as of the summer of 2015, according to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts, and advocates for illegals continue to protest voter ID laws and mandatory use of E-Verify by businesses, beginning Oct. 10, security screeners at nearly 200,000 federal buildings may deny access to visitors who present a driver’s license or identification card from a state non-compliant with REAL ID rules.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just released its guidance for federal agencies for this phase of REAL ID enforcement. The guidance, REAL ID Act of 2005 Implementation: An Interagency Security Committee Guide, contains a list of approved federal and state issued IDs.
According to DHS, a passport or ID specially approved by the federal government can be used as proof of identity.
The 2005 REAL ID Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and IDs that do not meet standards set by DHS. One purpose of the REAL ID Act was to strengthen the security of federal facilities from terrorist attacks.
The act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the act are: accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
“One of the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities is the protection of federal employees and private citizens who work within and visit US government-owned or leased facilities,” the guidelines state. “The Interagency Security Committee (ISC), chaired by DHS, consists of 54 federal departments and agencies, and has as its mission the development of security standards and best practices for nonmilitary federal facilities in the United States.”
The new DHS guideline clarifies how identity card clearances are to be uniformly applied to protect federal employees and private citizens who work within and visit these buildings.
According the Government Services Administration, there are 275,195 buildings that are owned and leased by the federal government as of 2014. But there’s only been REAL ID enforcement at 217 of these buildings. This next phase of enforcement will include “semi-restricted” federal facilities with Federal Security Levels 3, 4 or 5. Federal buildings where no ID checks currently occur — like museums, benefits offices and government hospitals — will not be among those covered by the increased enforcement, according to DHS.
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