Remember Sept. 11, 2001? That was the date when 19 radical Islamists hijacked jetliners full of fuel and passengers and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, among other targets.
The question of whether you remember 9/11 should be rhetorical, but several U.S. states are acting as if they don’t. These states, which include California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, have openly defied a law passed after 9/11 to prevent foreign nationals from easily breaching security at airports and similar venues. Called the REAL ID Act, the law specifies that any identification card issued based on unverifiable foreign documents must appear distinct in “design or color” from an official state driver’s license.
But more than half of all states, 27, issue ID cards that are barely distinguishable from a bona fide driver’s license. According to Fox News:
That means those with mere ID cards, like illegal immigrants, might be able to pass off their cards as a driver’s license at the airport and elsewhere — creating a huge gap in security.
For card-holders in the nation’s capital, a small star in the corner is the only visual cue that distinguishes a D.C. license from a mere ID card.
In Colorado, the distinguishing characteristic for the ID cards is a small black band.
Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union objects to the REAL ID Act and claims the visual differences amount to a scarlet letter. An ACLU attorney Jon Blazer states in the video that follows:
What we object to is states that gratuitously would try to do much more than necessary for the sole purpose of stigmatizing individuals.
Accusations of discrimination were enough to prompt one state to back down. Says Blazer:
North Carolina proposed to put a hot pink color on the licenses of young immigrants sometimes known as ‘dreamers’ and one could not really understand any legitimate reason for doing that other than to stigmatize and give them a scarlet letter.
Andrew Meehan, of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, doesn’t view the law as discriminatory. “If you could issue a letter grade to the way states are handling this, it would be an ‘F’,” he says in the video.