The Identity Project addresses a question I asked the other day after reading DHS’s reminder on REAL ID.
We’ve been trying for years to find out what the real story is with respect to ID requirements for travel by train, especially on Amtrak.
Amtrak and Greyhound ID policies and practices are of paramount importance to the mobility of undocumented people and people who, whether or not they are eligible for or have chosen to obtain government-issued ID credentials, don’t want to show their papers to government agents as a condition of exercising their right to freedom of movement.
Amtrak and Greyhound policies and practices will become even more important if the government and/or airlines further restrict air travel by people who don’t have, or don’t show, ID credentials that comply with the REAL-ID Act.
The latest responses to our requests for Federal and state public records reveal more about passenger railroad policies and practices, but still don’t give a clear answer.
Read more on Papers, Please!
If the government can demand REAL ID or passport-level identity proof for travel domestically by plane, why can’t they demand it for domestic travel on buses, trains, and even ride-shares? I’m not saying they should, but why should air travel be different on that than land or sea traffic? If I get on the Cross Island Ferry, can I be asked to show REAL ID?
We need clear answers, but more importantly, we need the right laws and standards. Demanding proof of identity for domestic travel seems …. wrong. Totally wrong. So why don’t we start by knocking that off, and take things from there.