We've still got a long way to go before the privacy-invasive REAL ID Act is off the books, but yesterday's vote in the Senate may one day be seen as a critical moment on the road to victory.
A provision smuggled into the major immigration reform bill would have effectively forced every American to present a standardized national ID in order to get a job as part of a mandatory employment verification system. But by a vote of 52-45, the Senate refused to end debate on an amendment that would have ripped the REAL ID provisions out of the bill. And now it seems that the entire immigration bill reform package is on ice, at least for the foreseeable future.
It's important to not read too much into the vote, since some Senators had plenty of reasons unrelated to REAL ID to try to prolong debate and scuttle the immigration reform bill. However, according to Jim Harper's head count, several Senators who supported immigration reform voted against ending debate on the amendment -- in other words, REAL ID was a dealbreaker. Moreover, recall that when REAL ID passed in May 2005, it was slipped into an emergency military and Tsunami relief spending bill with no meaningful debate. The fact that more than half the Senate publicly declared that this issue is controversial and demanded more scrutiny represents a huge shift.
That change couldn't have happened without individuals like you, and it's critical that you keep this momentum going. Preventing REAL ID's expansion isn't enough -- it must be repealed entirely. Take action and demand that Congress dump REAL ID now.