Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More on Legislators: Senator Obama

This one was received in response to the Real ID bill. Electronic data tracking...all that apparently irresistible stuff for the legislators who passed it. (Cutting edge and all whether it's for the good or not). Put together partnering between governmental agencies, tracking, mental health screening via primary care providers, et al and this and we're looking at one invasive Big Brother. I don't agree with all of his views, but I'll still remain somewhat..sigh... hopeful just because of his fresh face, his openness about his imperfections in life and his powerful messages. Here's his letter responding to my concerns about data tracking via rfid devices. I don't believe I received any response regarding the mental health screening issue
Dear Susan:

Thank you for contacting me about the REAL ID Act. I share your concern about this piece of legislation and apologize for the delay in my response. I'm afraid that it has taken me longer than I had anticipated to get caught up on the nearly three month backlog of correspondence the Senate post office delivered to me in late January.

On May 11, 2005, the Senate voted on a supplemental appropriations measure. That legislation included emergency funding for American troops in Iraq, the prevention of the avian flu, a growing health concern in Southeast Asia, and meals for injured service members, among other things.

Unfortunately, without a direct vote in the Senate, the House Republican majority attached the REAL ID Act to the House of Representatives' version of the emergency supplemental bill. And the Republican majority in the Senate refused to object to the inclusion of that provision in the final compromise legislation written by a special conference committee that was appointed to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate-passed versions of the emergency supplemental bill.

As you have stated, REAL ID is the wrong way to address our nation's immigration problems. I believe that many aspects of the proposal including the driver's license provisions and the treatment of asylum seekers are very troubling, and I spoke out against the addition of REAL ID to the supplemental during debate on the Senate floor. A copy of those remarks are enclosed for your review. However, in the final analysis, I voted for this "all-or-nothing" emergency supplemental measure because it provides critical funds for our troops in Iraq and for veterans' health care. The final Senate vote on the measure was 99 to 0.

I am committed to working with my colleagues in the future on more thoughtful solutions to pressing immigration problems. I will do what I can to reform the immigration system in manner that emphasizes both security for our borders and a path to legalization for hard working immigrants who would be contributing members of American society.

Again, thank you for contacting me about the REAL ID Act. Please stay in touch in the days ahead.


Barack Obama
United States Senator

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