While I strongly dislike that some people aren’t moved by the troubles of others until it effects them directly, here’s a very small way that the restrictions placed on and directly intended for undocumented immigrants will interrupt your day, American Citizen!
As my PA ID expires tomorrow, I’m switching my legal residency to DC. Surprisingly, it’s *not* procrastination that’s made me wait until the literal last possible day, it’s the REAL ID Act. As DC is in compliance with this, I’m required to provide a current unexpired government ID, my Social Security card, birth certificate, current lease, and a utility bill in order to get an ID card in the District - this is all before even taking a driver’s test. Sending away for a copy of my birth certificate took me a month and cost about $40. The Real ID will cost me $20, and about half a day away from work. While this is a minor annoyance to me, imagine how much of a bigger issue this would be for people who don’t have access to these things (i.e.: your name isn’t on your lease/utilities). And yes, you need all of them, or equivalents (a recent W-2 can substitute for a Social Security card, for example).
“Well I live in [not DC], and that place is a bureaucratic nightmare! I’m unbothered.” As of January 1, 2016 you’ll need on too in order to open a bank account, board an airplane or enter a federal building, or use your ID for any other federal purpose (FASFA, Section 8/HUD rental assistance spring to mind immediately).