The Real ID Act of 2005 undermines former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy and further, reneges on America's commitment to the world, which was embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.
Article 14 of the declaration offers protection of the rights of individuals to seek asylum when they are in fear of persecution related to religious affiliation, race, national origin, membership in a covered social group or political perspective. As written, The Real ID Act makes a mockery of that right because it requires those seeking asylum to document or demonstrate that one of those enumerated grounds is a central reason for their persecution.
An individual who cannot thus substantiate the persecution is subject to arrest, deportation and forcible return to that same repressive regime, where they will potentially face even worse persecution or even death. Interestingly, they come to the United States fleeing repression and are subject to an oppression regime in what they thought was a land of hope and freedom... this regime then forcibly returns them to the land from which they fled!
The Real ID Act not only violates the Universal Declaration but, much more deeply, mocks America's longstanding claim of being a beacon of hope, of freedom and of democracy for those who have been subject to life under the thumb of tyrants and of dictators.
By sending such a harsh message to those seeking asylum on our shores, Donald Trump, The Real ID Act and those that support similar rules and protocols are undermining the assertion that the United States is in fact a haven of safety from repressive regimes.
Sadly, on the very day that such repressive rules of law become a new beacon for America, The Statute of Liberty ought to shed a tear.