Stumbling into the embrace of the homeland-security state, California’s state legislature has sent to Governor Jerry Brown a bill which, unless the Governor vetoes it by October 11th, will require that:
[T]he Department [of Motor Vehicles] shall require an applicant for an original driver’s license or identification card to submit satisfactory proof of California residency and that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.
A.B. 1465 is unnecessary, would create severe problems for many Californians, and would discourage both immigrants to the US and residents of other states from moving to California.
As our friend Jim Harper of the Cato Institute has noted, the intent of A.B. 1465 appears to be to make it easier for the DHS to claim that California is making “progress” toward compliance with the REAL-ID Act.
Why would Californians want that?
The DHS has repeatedly threatened that if states don’t comply with the REAL-ID Act, including connecting their state drivers license and ID databases to the outsourced REAL-ID “hub” operated by the AAMVA, residents of those states won’t be allowed through Federal checkpoints at airports and at entrances to Federal facilities.
But as we discussed here and here and in this presentation at Cato earlier this year, these threats are hollow.
The TSA allows people to fly without ID every day, despite false notices in airports that ID is required.
As for access to federal buildings, the DHS says that “REAL-ID does not apply to … applying for or receiving Federal benefits, … accessing hospitals and health clinics…, or constitutionally protected activities.”
We’re not sure why else ordinary people would want to access most Federal facilities.