President’s decision to postpone REAL ID deadline is a good first step

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) thanks President Trump for announcing that the REAL ID deadline will be postponed, and will soon send a letter to the president with a request.

“Postponing the REAL ID compliance deadline is a wise decision given nationwide social distancing,” said Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF. “But our request is that he rescind all REAL ID rules, deadlines, and penalties.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has made visible the vast array of invisible burdensome, unnecessary, and restrictive federal regulations American health care providers and companies must follow. People are seeing how, at the end of the day, the government just gets in the way.

Just as President Trump lifts regulations to breathe freedom and efficiency into exam rooms nationwide, we’d like him to lift other regulations that diminish freedom, such as REAL ID,” said Brase. “We’d also like him to look at how China is using a digital national ID during this crisis to conduct mass surveillance and restrict individual freedom.”

A recent Wall Street Journal report and video showed China using their national ID system, combined with 300 million cameras, to track and monitor their citizens. To enforce COVID-19 protocols, they are sending drones to break up small groups and force people back into their homes. China’s national ID system is embedded into people’s cell phones for better tracking. Already, U.S. supporters of REAL ID are moving to embed the ID into cell phones by creating a “digital driver’s license” option. 

CCHF has long expressed its disapproval of the REAL ID, citing its unconstitutionality and massive data privacy concerns, and the possibility that it will become a requirement for access to medical care (“no card, no care”). As states have rolled out their REAL ID licenses, CCHF has asked Americans to opt-out of the federally-controlled ID, and instead choose the standard “not for federal purposes” ID or driver’s license.

 “The first step to nationwide surveillance is a national ID. Unfortunately, as with the 2005 REAL ID law, U.S. government has a long track record of using national emergencies to expand its power far beyond the current crisis,” said Brase. “We request that President Trump use this delay as an opportunity to restore state’s rights nationwide and fully release REAL ID’s regulatory grip on Americans.”

CCHF reminds Americans that many other forms of identification, such as a passport, can be used for travel on a plane or to enter a federal building:

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