Representing the Baldacci administration, Public Safety Commissioner Anne Jordan told the Transportation Committee that Maine’s credentials are inadequate and need to be improved.
Other supporters say failure to comply with the Real ID law would cause delays when buses cross the Canadian border and cause Maine air passengers to miss flights while they undergo extra security screening.
Opponents include civil libertarians, the Catholic Diocese and several immigrants and legislators. Juan Gonzalez, who owns businesses and is involved in the Portland community, says he and other immigrants will be singled out for undue scrutiny if the law passes.
Senate President Beth Edmonds of Freeport urged the committee to not rush to meet the Homeland Security Department’s deadlines.
Edmonds calls the measure an unfunded mandate that would turn Maine’s motor vehicles bureau into an arm of the federal government.
Baldacci’s bill would require license applicants to show they are legally in the United States, make licenses expire at the same time as visas, have electronic validation of documents by non-citizens and ensure that an applicant doesn’t get more than one license or state ID.