Friday, April 30, 2010

Democratic Plan On Immigration Includes National Identification Card

It seems the Democrat's immigration bill has struck a chord with some, especially regarding a provision regarding a national identification card.

Alexander Bolton wrote an article for The Hill regarding the matter:
Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.

The proposal is one of the biggest differences between the newest immigration reform proposal and legislation crafted by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.
There are other provisions to the legislation, but it seems the ID card has taken the lead. Here is what the proposal includes:
1. More Border Patrol officers
2. More Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, worksite inspectors, document fraud investigators and drug-war agents
3. The "installation of high-tech ground sensors throughout the southern border and for equipping all border patrol officers with the technological capability to respond to activation of the ground sensors in the area they are patrolling."
4. More prosecution of drug smuggling, human trafficking and unauthorized border crossing
5. "[I]ncreases in the number of sport utility vehicles, helicopters, power boats, river boats, portable computers to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers while inside of a border patrol vehicle, night vision equipment, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS), scope trucks, and Mobile Surveillance Systems (MSS)."
6. All prisoners will be checked for immigration status and deported if found to lack documentation.
7. DHS will "identify, investigate, and initiate removal proceedings" against folks who came here legally but didn't leave.
8. The bill would create "a broad-based registration program that requires all illegal immigrants living in the U.S. to come forward to register, be screened, and, if eligible, complete other requirements to earn legal status, including paying taxes."
While civil liberty watchdogs fear the notion of a card, immigration groups appear to be mixed, there seems to be a surprising push back from conservatives, who find the the measure to be an expansion of the federal government. I find their opposition most intriguing, considering their approval of Arizona's new law that allows police to check for immigration papers. Comparatively speaking, the ID card can be seen to be a similar method of tackling immigration problems, minus the police...

Conservatives aren't just upset with the ID card, they are upset with the many other provisions too, like the increase in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and border patrol agents. Joe Wolverton II, argued in his The New American article against the provisions based solely on the federal government's statements speaking positively about the border situation. Wolverton fails to admit that such provisions are exactly what the right have been asking for.

Wolverton writes the following regarding the cards:
The fourth of the eight proposals is perhaps the most pernicious. The proposition has a high propensity for overreaching in direct proportion to its vagueness. The exact wording of the suggestion calls for “improved technology” that will assist ICE in determining eligibility for work in the U.S. While that sounds innocuous enough, later in the document, under the section entitled, “Ending Illegal Employment Through Biometric Employment Verification,” Reid, et al, set forth their chilling scheme to require all Americans to carry a 21st Century version of the Social Security Card. The national identification card will be embedded with biometric data detectable by federal agents. Specifically, the Reid plan will mandate that within 18 months of the passage of immigration reform legislation, every American worker carry the “fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer.”

As if that isn’t enough to freeze the blood of any ally of freedom and our constitutional republic, the Senate sponsors insist that the new identification card will contain the following information, as well: “(1) biometric identifiers, in the form of templates, that definitively tie the individual user to the identity credential; (2) electronic authentication capability; (3) ability to verify the individual locally without requiring every employer to access a biometric database; (4) offline verification capability (eliminating the need for 24-hour, 7-days-per-week online databases); (5) security features that protect the information stored on the card; (6) privacy protections that allow the user to control who is able to access the data on the card; (7) compliance with authentication and biometric standards recognized by domestic and international standards organizations.” Read it and weep, lovers of liberty!
My opinions on the card? I think it is promising, but I would have to wait for more information regarding the implementation. For now I would have to remain neutral on the matter. I don't understand why conservatives are upset with the bill, considering it takes a tough position on immigration, and gives citizens proper identification methods, which presumably could be used by law enforcement to verify citizenship should suspicions arise, without legalizing racial profiling. It sounds like a better approach to immigration the the right-wing approach in Arizona.

1 comment:

  1. The one thing I find funny is that in order to work you already need a card and its one illegals cannot get.


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