Letter to the editor: Municipal ID

Dear editor,

Following is a letter I have sent to the Unified Government Commission and mayor regarding municipal identification cards.

To Mayor Holland: Re: Proposed Sanctuary City ID Cards

As a Wyandotte County resident, I am strongly opposed to the Unified Government establishing a municipal photo identification card program. Doing so would make the community far less safe by facilitating criminals living in our city. That ID would be a boon to identity thieves and all those who are not entitled to government issued ID.

A website, www.ACLUKansas.org, has a page supporting Unified Government ID and I found it to be very dishonest. First of all, the author of a letter to Mayor Holland, one might assume was written by an attorney. It turns out Weber is not an attorney, therefore legal conclusions in his letter should not be taken as a legal opinion. Weber makes unsubstantiated statements throughout his letter in matters of law and fact. For example, that 1 in 5 residents lack a government ID is clearly not correct.

His incorrect or misleading statements say that the card would allow holders to:
1. Open a bank account, (not true according to Academy Bank, Community America Credit Union, (under federal law a valid state ID is required to open a bank account).
2. Cash a check, (Walmart, banks I checked, gas stations, check cashing locations all require a state ID.) it would be foolish to cash a check without getting a secure ID.
3. Get a prescription filled, (controlled drugs may not be issued without a state ID).
4. Render identification to the police, (Police would expect a state issued ID).
5. Prove residency, (Cards are apparently not mailed, so homeless people get them).
6. Access health care, (ID is not required in an emergency re life-threatening issues).
7. Secure employment, (Employment laws requires state ID to confirm legal status).
8. Report crime to the police, (ID is not required simply to report a crime).
9. Reduce identity theft, (Easy ID is going to be used to commit ID theft).
10. Photo ID would be inexpensive, (To the end user or tax payers? See below).
11. Future state and federal government funds would not be withheld from the county, (this is likely false but would depend on other sanctuary city ordinances).

Our community might welcome hard-working legal residents who want to move to our city and contribute to our economy. However, those who can’t even obtain a lawful state of Kansas ID are far more likely to be supported financially by government services. This translates into them living on our tax money rather than contributing taxes to the community.

While the main claim to fame for the current UG administration is that county taxes are held low, this will be an expensive program in numerous ways. Issuing photo ID cards will require equipment for photographing people and printing ID cards (minimum $10,000 to $20,000 or more per location, plus about $1.20 per card). The program will require staff to process ID cards (figure $100,000 per employee minimum, twice that if sworn police do it. This smacks of typical government waste. Duplicating a government service and then not doing it very well is absolute foolishness. The required documentation to receive the proposed Wyandotte County ID would be what exactly?

ID currently costs $18 for minors and elderly to obtain an official state of Kansas card. Everyone else pays $22 for Kansas State ID. Present a valid, original birth certificate, valid U.S. Passport and a social security card and the Kansas ID or driver’s license will be deemed “Real ID” under federal law. What is wrong with that? The fictional notion that lawful elderly citizens of the county can’t easily obtain a Kansas ID or INS Green Card is not supported by anything but liberal conjecture.

Illegal aliens are excluded by design from obtaining real ID. Not being able to obtain Kansas State ID without proof of legal residency is not an accident or oversight. This is not something that ought to be fixed by using taxpayer funds.

I submit that the group having trouble getting an ID are those exactly precluded by law from getting the document. Official ID is only available to U.S. citizens and legal residents of the United States. Illegal aliens will be far and away the largest group wanting to obtain the new KCK fake ID card.

Due to pending federal “Real ID” standards, getting past TSA to fly on an airplane and entering federal facilities requires secure official ID. Wyandotte County fake ID card holders would get laughed out of line at airport security.

We live in dangerous times, state and federal laws are cracking down on insecure, easily forged or false ID. Why would Wyandotte County want to issue insecure IDs? This is absolutely wrong headed. Sanctuary cities are built with a collection of policies like this. This facilitates unlawfulness through lax enforcement of laws designed to protect American citizens.

I reached out to the Kansas Secretary of State regarding using the proposed Wyandotte County ID at the polls. He will certainly advise election officials that those cards would not be recognized at the polls. Not secure for photo identification, residency, home address, air travel, banking, voting, driving, entry to federal buildings, proof or age, name, buying alcohol, tobacco, opening a bank account, cashing a check and certainly not compliant with federal Real ID, what good are they? I am opposed to the UG getting into the fake ID business.

Greg Mills

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