REAL ID == BAD

So I followed a link on Mangoat.net the other day to a video clip that was amusing yet disturbing at the same time here. After the video it linked to this ACLU page. I filled out the form letter and it was sent to our two CA Senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein on 11/2.

I was very surprised to get an e-mail from Feinstein’s office today that read thusly:

Thank you for your letter regarding the “REAL ID Act of 2005″
as incorporated into the “Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief Act, 2005”
(H.R.1268). I welcome the opportunity to respond.
Congress passed H.R.1268 on May 10th, and the President signed it into law on May 11th. I was opposed to the inclusion of the REAL ID Act in this bill. This Act makes major changes to our immigration laws, and I believe the Senate did not have adequate opportunity to review, consider and debate its provisions. Instead, this complex piece of legislation was added to an unrelated funding bill, and was passed without amendment. The only changes made were negotiated in secret, with Democrats shut out of the process.

The REAL ID Act wasn’t the only immigration language added to this bill without proper review. For instance, the Republican leadership added language at the 11th hour which creates a new temporary worker program for 10,500 Australian workers.
So each year now we could see an influx of 10,500 Australian workers, along with their families. Assuming that each of these professional workers brings their spouse and child, in reality we could see an increase of 31,500 individuals each year.
I remain committed to immigration reform, but I believe that immigration policy, with its far-reaching effects on our economy and our national security, should be considered carefully on its own merits, not tacked on to unrelated legislation.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep in touch. If you have any further comments on this issue, please contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at http://feinstein.senate.gov

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