Inserted in a sweeping House bill introduced earlier this month called Securing America’s Future Act of 2018 is the establishment of a new biometric National ID card for all Americans that has privacy activists sounding alarms.
Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., H.R. 4760 encompasses issues such as education, Homeland Security and the military. Buried in the 400-page legislation is the new mandatory national identification system in which citizens would be required to carry a government-approved ID containing “biometric features.”
The bill states that anyone seeking employment in the country must have the card.
The purpose of the measure, part of the legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is to curb illegal immigration. It specifically addresses the shortcomings of the E-Verify system, which has failed to catch an estimated 54 percent of illegal immigrant workers.
Ron Paul, the former Republican lawmaker and presidential candidate known for his libertarian views, has launched a campaign against the national ID through his non-profit Campaign for Liberty, including an online petition.
Paul, writing to his supporters, declared the proposed ID card “is exactly the type of battle that often decides whether a country remains free or continues sliding toward tyranny.”
WND asked Rep. Goodlatte and his staff at the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, to respond to questions regarding the privacy concerns but did not receive answers.
Proponents of the measure argue workers already are required to provide a Social Security number, which is part of a national database, and emphasize the benefits of curbing illegal immigration for American workers and taxpayers and the nation’s security.
Paul fears the national database supporting the cards “could expand to include American citizens’ gun ownership status, religious beliefs, political affiliation and virtually anything else at the stroke of a President’s pen.”
The biometric identification information on the cards, Paul warns, which could include fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands, could easily be used as a tracking device.
Paul noted that the law would require all employers to purchase an ID scanner to verify the cards, and he fears that it would be only a matter of time that ID scans would be required for routine purchases.
The national ID card, the former congressman recalls, was a key portion of the failed “comprehensive immigration reform” bills both parties tried to pass during the Obama administration.
“Now, using the momentum behind Trump’s tough talk on immigration and border security, I’m afraid the statists believe the best way to finally enact their National ID scheme is by promoting their bill on Capitol Hill as a ‘DACA fix’ while they sell it to the GOP base as a border ‘security’ measure,” he writes.
The national ID, Paul said, doesn’t target any border but instead is meant “to create an all-out police state within them.”
Alex Nowrasteh, a fellow at the libertarian CATO Institute in Washington, said in a FoxNews.com column “a national ID hurts American workers while pretending to help them,” calling a “naked government power grab” that effectively requires every American to ask government permission to get a job.
“American workers shouldn’t have to beg or plead to anybody to get permission to work,” he wrote. “Being employed should be a private agreement between an employer and employee. Period. The government should get out of the way.”
He also argued that “carrying around government papers with biometric identification on it conjures up images of a more technologically savvy Oceania or East Germany.”
He further asserted that the system would exclude millions of legal workers by accident and fail to catch the majority of illegal immigrants.
“For instance, if E-Verify were instituted nationwide 3.6 million Americans would be denied employment each year and have to visit the Social Security Administration to correct their records. The employer either fires them or delays training. Will a biometric ID card make this system better? How does that help American workers?”
He said, along with costing businesses up to $800 to buy a scanner, it “would treat every American like a criminal by requiring them to enter their most intimate and personal data into a government database.”
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