Past Event

Debating REAL ID

A New National Driver's License?

12:00 AM - 11:59 PM EDT

Debating REAL ID
A New National Driver’s License?

May 26, 2005
With little public scrutiny, Congress recently enacted the “REAL ID” bill, provisions of which require sweeping changes to the process by which states issues driver’s licenses. Promoted as a measure to curb the ability of terrorists to obtain identification documents, REAL ID has spurred a firestorm of controversy from many quarters, including immigrant rights groups, state governments, and privacy advocates who fear the creation of a de facto national ID card. While reducing identity theft remains an imminent threat to consumers as well as a pressing national security concern, serious questions remain whether REAL ID is the right approach. The Center brings together a distinguished panel to debate an issue that will have a dramatic impact on states and localities in the coming months and years.

• Raj Goyle: Video
• Matthew Dunlap: Video
• Gustavo Torres: Video
• Amanda Bowman: Video
• Q&A Session: Video
• Transcript: Full text

Note: All video provided in QuickTime (MPEG-4)  format.

Amanda Bowman is president of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License, America’s leading advocacy group for driver’s license reform as an anti-terrorist measure. Amanda has worked in the national security policy arena since 2001, when she organized the international conference, “Preserving an Open Society in an Age of Terror,” on the issue of balancing public safety and civil liberties sponsored by the Center for Strategic International Studies and Scientific American magazine. Amanda also serves as New York Director for the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security Policy, for which she develops forums and programs that tackle the issue of national security and counterterrorism and their impact on the U.S. at home and abroad. In 2003, Amanda co-founded Family Security Matters, a non-partisan organization dedicated to America’s “security moms” that encourages women to take the necessary steps to make our country safer and more secure for America’s families. Amanda Bowman is an immigrant to the United States from Great Britain. She is a graduate of Cambridge University in the U.K. and her professional career spans working for The Economist, Christie’s, Hill & Knowlton and Ogilvy Public Relations. Amanda is the mother of six children – all of whom are drivers.
Matthew Dunlap has served as Maine’s Secretary of State since January 2005. Secretary Dunlap’s career in public service began with his election to the Maine House of Representatives in 1996, where he was the first House Chair of the Committee on Program Evaluation and Governmental Accountability, and was a member of the Apportionment Commission and the House Committee on Elections. In April 2005, Dunlap was selected to serve on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee established by the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop recommendations for national minimum standards for drivers’ licenses and identification cards. The committee was created by Congress in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Dunlap served as the representative from the National Governors Association, recommended by Governor John Baldacci and Senator Susan Collins. As Maine’s Secretary of State, Dunlap oversees the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which is responsible for licensing drivers, issuing state identification cards, maintaining driving records and conducting investigations related to a broad range of motor vehicle law.
Raj Goyle is the Senior Policy Analyst for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress. Raj worked as a staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland, where he focused on post-9/11 immigration issues. Raj has also worked on voting rights on the national and state level, and juvenile justice reform in Mississippi. Raj served as a researcher for South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A former education reporter at the Wichita Eagle, Raj is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Duke University.
Gustavo Torres is originally from Colombia, South America. He left Colombia in 1987 as a result of the political, social and economic situation in that country, worked in Central America for four years, and subsequently moved to the Washington area in 1991. Currently he is the Executive Director of CASA of Maryland, Inc., the largest Latino service provider and advocacy organization in Maryland. In 2001 Mr. Torres received the Ford Foundation’s inaugural Leadership for a Changing World award. In 2002 he was recognized as the Washingtonian of the year and also received national recognition as the best advocate by the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino organization in the U.S. On September 2003 CASA received the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award for its persistence in fighting for just immigration policies and fair treatment of immigrants and refugees. He has been a tireless champion of the rights of immigrants, and specifically the low-wage Latino community. Under his leadership, CASA’s scope of work has expanded to include a range of educational, organizing and advocacy programs, as well as employment and economic development programs, and immigration assistance. Among his many leadership roles in the community, Mr. Torres is the co-founder of the Latino Health Initiative in Montgomery County, MD, the founding and past president of the Maryland Latino Coalition for Justice, and a member of the Latino Advisory Committee for County Executive Douglas Duncan of Montgomery County.