Local drivers license securty not able to use portions of fed's READ ID act

Because American Samoa controls its own immigration law, the territory does not fully utilize the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), one of the requirements under the federal REAL ID Act, according to a US Government Accountability Office report titled “Driver’s License Security” covering states and territories.

The 47-page report was sought by a congressional panel wanting an update on how the federal government is implementing the REAL ID Act.

GAO says most jurisdictions are using SAVE but officials in some of the states reported challenges with the system. SAVE, operated by the US Department of Homeland Security, verifies the information in documents that non-citizen applicants provide to prove they have lawful status in the United States.

A footnote in the report states that driver licensing agencies in American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico have entered into agreements with USDHS to use SAVE.

“According to USDHS, however, because American Samoa has an independent immigration framework, it is not able to actually use SAVE to verify lawful status,” said GAO.

A table of funding distribution to states and territories for FYs 2008 — 2011 shows that American Samoa was awarded “$2 million to less than $3 million” under the Driver’s License Security Grant Program (DLSGP) Fund. No other specific information in the report deals with American Samoa.


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