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Thread: The case for a national ID card

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    The case for a national ID card

    From today's Washington Post:


    THE UNITED STATES has invested tens of billions of dollars in the past decade alone to foil illegal immigration — tightening the border, accelerating deportations, deputizing local police — while doing precious little to stop employers from hiring undocumented immigrants.

    That is fixable — by means of a universal national identity card — and must be fixed as part of any sensible overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.

    Critics of immigration reform are right that the last big attempt to fix the system, in 1986, was no fix at all. Millions of undocumented immigrants were given amnesty but without any effective provision to stop future illegal migrants from entering the country or overstaying their visas.

    If the current attempt to reform the system includes a provision to legalize some 11 million illegal immigrants — and we hope it does — it must not repeat the mistake of 1986. That means establishing mechanisms to ensure an adequate supply of legal immigrant labor, skilled and unskilled. And it means deterring unauthorized entry.

    There are two ways to achieve that goal. One is to deploy sensors, drones and thousands more agents along the border, as both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have done, to significant effect. The other is to make it easy for companies to detect and reject undocumented job applicants and for the government to prosecute employers who flout the law. If illegal immigrants can’t get jobs, they won’t come to this country.

    An effective solution would be to issue tamper-proof, biometric ID cards — using fingerprints or a comparably unique identifier — to all citizens and legal residents. Last week, both President Obama and a bipartisan group of eight senators seeking immigration reform urged something along those lines, without calling it a universal national identity card. That’s a major step forward.

    The senators proposed requiring job applicants to demonstrate legal status and identity by “non-forgeable electronic means,” along with “safeguards to protect American workers, prevent identity theft, and provide due process protections.” The president proposed a “fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant Social Security card,” among other secure documents, to prove work eligibility.

    Critics on both the civil-liberties left and the libertarian right have long resisted such cards as the embodiment of a Big Brother brand of government, omniscient, invasive and tentacular. Their criticisms ring hollow.

    More than a third of Americans (35 percent) possess passports, up from just 6 percent 20 years ago — and all passports issued since 2007 contain chips that enable biometric use of facial recognition technology. The proliferation of passports for foreign travel has not encroached on Americans’ civil liberties. Why would another form of ID, used for employment verification, pose such a threat?

    Yes, unscrupulous employers could still ignore the law, but doing so would become riskier and more prone to enforcement. Critics contend that a national ID would only drive up the cost of counterfeit documents. Would they prefer that falsified documents are cheap?

    A phased-in, reliable ID might have other benefits — for instance, to safeguard voting. That should satisfy Republicans who insist that IDs prevent fraud at the ballot, as well as Democrats who believe Republicans want to suppress voting.

    Inevitably, there would be glitches and errors. But with effective safeguards for privacy and against government prying, the benefits would easily outweigh the costs.

    Is it Big Brother...? A violation of civil liberties? If so, how exactly?

    Or is it way to protect our country?
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    And cue RFD.

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    Senior Member CrustySMSgt's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    It's an f-ing ID card... WTF does that have to do with "big brother?"

    As long as it is tailorable to make it dual purpose as your driver's license, so you don't have to carry both, I'm all for it. Only down side is I'd have to get rid of my original DL that I'm still using... always fun to present it and get a good laugh when they see my photo from when I was 16 and that it expired in 1987!
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

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    Senior Member Quixotic's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    I think the best way to answer the question is: Will a National I.D. card solve the problem of Illegal Immigration? I don't think so.

    Employers know when they are hiring illegals and having another potential form of 'proof of citizenship' for them to ignore will not solve the problem.

    And yes, "using fingerprints or a comparably unique identifier" to collect my biometric signature, to track me like a criminal, would be an invasion of my privacy and a violation of my civil rights - as if we really have any anymore.

    I guess if you live your life in fear of terrorists, a National I.D. does have some merit though.

    Or, if your a politician interested in gerrymandering districts more effectively, a National database to draw more specific demographic information from would be great.

    Tell me, exactly who does a National I.D. really benefit the most...? You? Me? Or somebody else...?
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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixotic View Post
    And yes, "using fingerprints or a comparably unique identifier" to collect my biometric signature, to track me like a criminal, would be an invasion of my privacy and a violation of my civil rights - as if we really have any anymore.
    As members of the military, are we not already tracked, fingerprinted and have DNA on file? Granted the population at large certainly is not subject to this - at least until one of them is arrested or convicted of a crime serious enough to warrant such sampling.

    I forget who said it, but to paraphase: One has a right to privacy. But in an age of terrorism and illegal immigration you don't have a right to be anonymous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixotic View Post
    Tell me, exactly who does a National I.D. really benefit the most...? You? Me? Or somebody else...?
    That is the question, isn't it? Bravo, Quixotic.
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    More baffling BS from our legislators in DC. They just need to enforce the laws already on the books!

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    More baffling BS from our legislators in DC. They just need to enforce the laws already on the books!
    Exactly. If they did that, none of these other issues would even matter.

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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    Quote Originally Posted by efmbman View Post
    Is it Big Brother...? A violation of civil liberties? If so, how exactly?

    Or is it way to protect our country?
    I am all for it. BUT you can bet there are gonna be those clambering that this will hurt the poor etc.

    Employers know when they are hiring illegals and having another potential form of 'proof of citizenship' for them to ignore will not solve the problem.
    Which is why i fully support greater penalties on companies (and the personnel doing the hiring) that DO hire illegals.

    More baffling BS from our legislators in DC. They just need to enforce the laws already on the books!
    Plus As what happened with Regan, when the dems pleaded to secure the border if they just pass amnesty for the illegals here back then, who here Honestly thinks doing so again will be any different.

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    Senior Member CYBERFX1024's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    But having to show this to vote would still be considered racist and derogatory to minorities and the poor.

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    Senior Member efmbman's Avatar
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    Re: The case for a national ID card

    Quote Originally Posted by CYBERFX1024 View Post
    But having to show this to vote would still be considered racist and derogatory to minorities and the poor.
    Why? If everyone has to show it, how would it single out the minorites and the poor?
    When things go wrong in your command, start searching for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.
    -GEN Bruce C. Clarke

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