Monday, April 07, 2008

What Issues Should DHS be Focusing On?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently placed even more emphasis on state compliance with the Real ID Act. Part of this initiative pushes for national IDs, as opposed to state IDs, in order to reduce the prevalence of identification fraud after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Many states are opposing this Act, claiming "bullying the states is not the answer, nor is threatening their citizens' rights to travel." State representatives are also rejecting the Act on the basis of the financial burden associated with it. However, if states fail to comply with the Act within a certain designated time frame, DHS has stated it will refuse to regard state ID cards as acceptable forms of federal identification.

Other issues addressed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in relation to DHS's practices included the current waiting list for naturalizations, meaning that many citizens-to-be who have paid their taxes and are productive members of society will not be able to vote in the 2008 Presidential Election.

Should DHS be concentrating on the Real ID Act when there are naturalization orders to process? Is the Department perhaps lending too much importance to the Act in light of Post-9/11 sentiment? Or should matters of national security actually be the focus of the Department of Homeland Security?

1 comment:

Ryan said...

The DHS should be concentrating on the Real ID Act, but the extent to which it should concentrate on this Act is unclear. Perhaps naturalization orders are more important, but perhaps the Real ID Act can be seen as a "matter of national security" (there's certainly an argument for this). I would suggest that matters of national security (or, protecting the US and its citizens) should be prioritized over the process of welcoming new citizens. Indeed, if we cannot protect our current citizens, why would we want to expedite the making of new citizens? This would dilute the resources available for protecting the American people. Thus, if the US' naturalization process outpaces the development of programs designed to protect the American people, then we are effectively making the American people gradually less secure.