The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it had delayed, for a third time, the requirement for adult U.S. travelers to have a REAL ID-compliant Driver’s License or ID Card to board commercial flights.
“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
The program, initially scheduled to into effect on Oct. 1, 2020, was first delayed until Oct. 1, 2021, then again until May 3, 2023, due to the pandemic. The new delay will push the requirement until May 7, 2025, and DHS is again siting COVID as the cause.
“The extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card,” according to the statement. “REAL ID progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic.”
While the government struggles to implement tougher ID requirements on U.S. citizens, it is allowing illegal aliens to board flights by presenting an arrest warrant.
“A criminal alien shouldn’t be allowed to board a plane after presenting a warrant for their arrest,” Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) said in a statement. “They should be detained and brought before a judge.”
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