Mar 31 2008

Graham on REAL ID and South Carolina

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on South Carolina and REAL ID. 


Graham said:


“I am pleased South Carolina has been granted an extension by Secretary Chertoff regarding REAL ID compliance.  The decision was more than justified.


“The Governor has done an excellent job in explaining his concerns to federal officials, many of which I share.  Our state already meets 16 of the 18 compliance benchmarks – about 90 percent -- called for in REAL ID.  Governor Sanford’s efforts to reform our state drivers’ license program has made the system more secure and efficient.


“REAL ID grew out of recommendations made by the 9-11 Commission over the need for more secure forms of identification.  It was viewed as an effective means of cracking down on the use of fraudulent documents like those used by the 9/11 hijackers.  In addition, REAL ID would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain employment by tightening acceptable forms of identification.


“I will do my part to help ensure the federal government addresses the unfunded mandate burden imposed on the states by REAL ID.  Governors and state legislatures across the country are rightfully concerned about these requirements.


“However, in this age of international terrorism we must secure the homeland.  We need better identification to protect air travel, access to federal buildings, institutions, and other high value terrorist targets.


“I believe we can accommodate the legitimate national security needs of our nation with the concerns raised by Governor Sanford and the state legislature.”