Latino Groups Unite in Condemning REAL ID

Press release by MALDEF, NCIR and NALEO, July 5, 2005

National Latino groups are united in opposing REAL ID. National security is a top concern for the Latino community, but REAL ID will not keep America any safer. What REAL ID will do is decrease access to driver’s licenses and identification documents for immigrants, including legal immigrants, as well as currently undocumented trafficking victims, asylum seekers, and innocent children who may be eligible for immigration relief. REAL ID will make American roads and communities less safe and impose national ID requirements. It will keep many American families, made up of citizens and immigrants alike, from being able to get to work, get their children to school, or get to a hospital during a medical emergency.

Furthermore, REAL ID will make it more difficult for individuals fleeing persecution to seek safe haven in the United States. REAL ID will also suspend federal, state and local laws and any judicial review related to construction of additional fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border, which is likely to increase the number of deaths of Latino migrants at the border.

REAL ID is being enacted into law without the debate and deliberation required in the Senate. The Latino community is extremely disappointed that the House and the President would endorse its being attached to the Emergency Appropriations bill. Moreover, we believe this bill will adversely impact hardworking Latino immigrants and their families, and take the debate further away from the real issue that needs to be addressed—comprehensive immigration reform, which includes strong security measures.

Rather than rushing anti-immigrant measures through Congress under a questionable process, it is time to fix our broken immigration system. Congress and the President should work together as soon as possible to enact comprehensive immigration reform. It is through comprehensive reform that we will truly be able to ensure our national security without compromising the safety and rights of American families.

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For more information contact:
Katherine Culliton, MALDEF : (202) 293-2828
Michele Waslin, NCLR : (202) 776-1735
Larry Gonzalez, NALEO : (202) 883-546-2536